India has decided to implement a formal Internet neutrality regime.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) responded to a lively year-long debate with a statement opposing any “discriminatory treatment” of Internet data.
TRAI said its recommendations were designed to prevent ISPs in the country from either throttling or blocking content to punish demanding providers like Netflix. The regulator has also opposed giving content providers preferential treatment if they're willing to pay carriers.
The debate in India kicked off in 2016 when TRAI halted discriminatory data tariffs, partly in response to lobbying by Facebook, and kicked off its inquiry into neutrality.
TRAI chair RS Sharma said the rules upheld the “core principles of net neutrality, non-discriminatory treatment of all content, treating internet as an open platform”.
Carriers are reported to be playing their cards close for now, with the only strong comment coming from the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
COAI complained that over-the-top (OTT) mobile applications like Skype have eroded its members revenue, and said TRAI should have taken a light-touch approach.