12 July 2018
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
The Indian government is to change operators’ telecoms licences to enforce net neutrality, with only certain critical services allowed fast lanes.
India’s telecom secretary and chair of the Telecom
Commission, said yesterday that the government has accepted in
full the recommendations put forward in November 2017 by the
regulator, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
"All recommendations of Trai on net neutrality have been
accepted," she said. "Its core principles will be followed
except in the case of critical services where you need to
prioritise certain kinds of traffic."
She will consult with Trai to determine what those critical
services are, but accepted that this is a "very evolving
framework" and this will not be a fixed determination. Content
delivery networks will not be included in the definition.
All operators will be banned from blocking content or slowing
it down, said Sundararajan.
The Telecom Commission that Sundararajan chairs is a
decision-making body in the government’s
Department of Telecommunications (DoT). It has accepted
Trai’s recommendations in full.
At the same time the Telecom Commission took two further
significant decisions for the industry in India. First, it
accepted the government’s national digital
communications policy, which should see investment of $100
billion by 2022. The Indian government will consider the policy
by the end of July.
And she said that the forthcoming merger of Vodafone India and
Idea Cellular will help to stabilise the telecoms market in
India. "We would like to see that the merger is completed at
the earliest, because we too want the sector is stabilised,"
she said. "This is an important step for stabilising the
There are still "certain formalities" before the merger can be
completed. However the Department of Telecom gave its approval
to the merger on Monday.