India adopts ‘world’s strongest’ net neutrality norms – BBC News
India adopts ‘world’s strongest’ net neutrality norms 12 July 2018 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Net neutrality ensures that users can access all websites at the same speed and cost India has adopted recommendations strongly backing net neutrality that experts say could be the “strongest” in the world.
Net neutrality means service providers must treat all traffic equally, and not charge differently based on content.
The recommendations explicitly forbid operators from throttling data speeds for any online service, and mandates all content be treated the same.
India is expected to have 500 million internet users by June.
“Any deviations and violations of the rules of net neutrality — which come into effect almost immediately — will be met with stiff penalties,” telecom secretary Aruna Sundarajan told Indian reporters.
The net neutrality principle is considered a cornerstone of a free and open internet that provides equal access to all and bans “any form” of data discrimination. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption India is home to more than 462 million internet users
The country’s adoption of the November 2017 recommendations by the Telecom Regulatory Association of India (TRAI) comes amid an ongoing global debate on net neutrality. The net neutrality battle
India’s fight for net neutrality began in 2015, says technology analyst Prasanto K Roy.
Telecom operator Airtel was forced to withdraw a plan to charge extra for internet calls, and shut down a platform called Airtel Zero, which allowed customers to access a few mobile applications for free. Some operators call this “toll-free data”, but it’s popularly known as “zero rating”.
Others, including Facebook and Google, were also forced to abandon their zero-rating platforms and deals. The most visible casualty was Facebook’s Free Basics service , which offered Indians free access to a limited number of websites.