Given that we still don't have any legal provisions made for net neutrality, the government and Trai are gauging several factors that could help or curb net neutrality. According to a report by The Indian Express, both are looking for a 'public law spelling out do's and don'ts' that will help ensure net neutrality.
A background note by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to the six-member panel reveals the need for specific measures relevant in the Indian context including factors such as increased broadband availability, competitive environment and low telecom tariff, adds the report.
The note reportedly further suggests that dominant content and app providers are outside the country, which leads to concerns regarding security and also legal jurisdiction.
"Sources in the DoT said that as things stand today, very high internet traffic growth rate is leading to network congestion and spectrum crunch, forcing TSPs to adopt traffic management tools that restrict flow of data on the Internet. They also employ a host of tariff and commercial measures that militate against principles of net neutrality, such as data caps and fair usage policy, thereby incentivising and discriminating with select content and applications," points out the Indian Express report.
Recently, FCC approved “net neutrality” rules that prevent Internet providers such as Comcast and Verizon from slowing or blocking Web traffic or from creating Internet fast lanes that content providers such as Netflix must pay for. However, FCC is facing several lawsuits that challenge its open Internet order. Trai believes that this is due to the lack of specific 'law governing rules'. To ensure that India doesn't face such issues in the future, Trai and the government are looking to clearly define the dos and don'ts.
"The American experience on net neutrality could indeed provide various learnings for the Indian experience. However, the fact still remains that India will need to carve out its own specific way, going forward in the context of the net neutrality," Pavan Duggal, Advocate, Supreme Court of India and an expert and authority on Cyberlaw & Mobile Law in India had earlier told Firstpost. He had also pointed out several principles to be safeguarded and complied with before we jot down the net neutrality law in India. Read it here.