Telcos ask government to defer net neutrality rules

The COAI has urged the government to bring over-the-top (OTT) service providers such as WhatsApp under the licensing regime and defer net neutrality rules on telecom operators till the time โ€˜same service, same rulesโ€™ are applied on the applications.

The COAI wrote to the Telecom Department on February 9 in response to the recommendation of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on OTT players that no regulations should be imposed on the calling and messaging apps till the time clarity emerges in the international jurisdictions.

โ€œTill the time any decision is taken regarding licensing of OTT communication providers, the unequitability between TSPs (telecom service providers) and OTTs should not be increased further.

โ€œTill such time, no new licensing conditions, including that of traffic management practices for net neutrality etc., should be imposed on TSPs,โ€ Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said.

The net neutrality principles prohibit service providers from discriminating against Internet content and services by blocking, throttling or according preferential higher speeds.

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