In a press release sent to Bureaucracy Today, Harsh Walia, Associate Partner, Khaitan & Co commented on TRAI's recent decision on net neutrality.
He said that “In line with its previous stand, TRAI has upheld the idea of a free and open internet. It has suggested amendments to the existing telecom license agreements which will make the regime for non-discriminatory treatment of content robust. TRAI has recommended same provisions for all licensees permitted to provide internet access services i.e. UASL, CMTS, UL, ISP and VNO so that there is uniformity in its implementation and no loop holes are left. It has also recommended certain exceptions to the applicability of non-discriminatory principles if they fall within the meaning of specialized services (which broadly means services where optimization is necessary to meet specific quality of service requirements). It may be important to state that while prescribing non-discriminatory principles, TRAI has taken care to recognize and acknowledge that telecom service providers need to carry reasonable traffic management practices for delivering IP traffic on best efforts and has therefore not framed regulations to specify reasonable traffic management as yet.
Surprisingly, all IoT services are not excluded from the principle of non-discrimination, but only those that will fall within the ambit of specialised services to the satisfaction of DoT. The IoT players not providing critical services may find it onerous, if DoT accepts this recommendation.
Further, TRAI has excluded content delivery networks (CDN) from the purview of restrictions on non-discriminatory treatment and have targeted only internet access service providers at the moment. While this provides a considerable relief to providers of CDN services, it puts TSPs in a precarious position, if this recommendation is accepted by DoT.”