Recommendations of A. K. Bhargava Committee on Net Neutrality: Highlights

Recommendations of A. K. Bhargava Committee on Net Neutrality: Highlights

Question: Report of the A. K. Bhargava Committee on Net Neutrality was recently released by the Department of Telecom. Discuss the highlights of this report.

The report of the A. K. Bhargava committee on Net Neutrality was recently released by DoT

Though the Committee chiefly supported the core principles of Net Neutrality, it also made a few exceptions in interests of business sense and national security

Highlights of the Report

- The report has indicated that legitimate traffic management practices should be allowed yet tested against Net Neutrality core principles

- Improper prioritisation will not be permitted, paid or otherwise as per the committee

- The specific approach of India towards Net Neutrality should take into account global best practices which serve specific needs of the nation

- The primal aim of India’s Net Neutrality principle should be towards the following:

- Reasonably priced broadband

- Quality broadband

- Universal broadband for citizens

- User rights on Internet need to be ensured so ISP/Telecom providers do not limit the ability of the user to receive, send, transmit or post legal content, app or service online or restrict lawful internet activity use

- OTT or over the top app services should be really encouraged and obstacles in their progress should be eliminated

- Application layer should be separated from network layer because app services are delivered through a licensed network

- Particular OTT communication services associated with messaging should not come in the way of regulatory instruments

- For OTT VoIP international calling services, the Bhargava committee has recommended a liberal approach

- As far as domestic calls (local and national) are concerned, communication services of OTT and TSPs should be treated equivalent from the regulatory angle currently

- Content as well as application providers must not be gatekeepers and instead promote network operations for extracting core Net Neutrality principles, even for an ostensible public purpose.

- A think tank must be set up with fresh talent given the complexities of the new digital world

Facts and Stats

- Internet. org of Facebook was criticised by the Bhargava Committee as obstructing the freedom of the internet

- The committee also recommended that new legislation must incorporate principles of net neutrality when it is replacing the legal framework

- National security takes precedence over Net Neutrality, according to the Committee

- Tariff should be regulated by TRAI for now, according to the Committee.
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