wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Asia Internet Coalition recommends principle-based rules on Net Neutrality

The Asia Internet Coalition recommended a principles-based set of rules to govern Net Neutrality regulation in India. The AIC represents the interests of Amazon, Google and Facebook, among others, in Asia. The filing also warned against regulating content providers à la telecom providers. Amazon and Google both operate cloud services with a significant market share.

ReadThe curiously absent voice in the Net Neutrality debate

TRAI sought views from stakeholders on what a committee to enforce net neutrality should look like in India. It is also looking into issues related to traffic management practices as these could affect net neutrality.

In the UK, the communications regulator Ofcom requires telecom providers to answer and publish a questionnaire that details, in simple terms, how they manage traffic in terms of throttling specific types of content or prioritising traffic. AIC suggested such a model for India.

Ease of doing business

Like the telecom providers, AIC argued that traffic management is needed for security and managing quality across all services during network congestion. But the trade group warned that these practices should only be used in a way that does not “skew access to the Internet”.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
  1. Internet providers shouldn’t use TMPs to abuse market power: “Illegitimate TMPs could lead to discrimination by fixed or mobile TSPs/ISPs who have market power,” the group warned, adding that “TMPs should be guided by foundational principles of net neutrality.” This, AIC said, would prevent telecom providers from prioritising their own applications and services.
  2. 5G network slicing could be discriminatory: “Practices such as 5G network slicing,” AIC said, “have the potential to be used to circumvent the core net neutrality principles.” 5G network slicing lets telcos allocate resources dynamically in real time depending on demand for specific types of services. In her filing, Stanford law professor Barbara van Schewick pointed out that while discrimination in a 5G network becomes easier, the need for it also reduces because capacity increases significantly.
  3. No need to create a list of TMPs: AIC said that creating a list of traffic management practices “would not be effective for TSPs”. This is in line with responses across the board, which warn that the pace at which network technology is progressing makes it hard for telcos to enumerate the ever-growing ways in which telcos manage traffic.
  4. Self-certification: AIC said that telcos should be able to self-certify their compliance with Net Neutrality principles, instead of requiring active probes and crowd-sourcing. Crowd-sourcing responses could lead to bad quality complaints too, the coalition argued.
  5. No need for multi-stakeholder body: “We do not believe that a multi-stakeholder body (MSB) is required, even in an advisory capacity,” AIC said. The group argued that the Department of Telecommunications should have the first and last say on enforcing Net Neutrality regulations, as an MSB “will add to the bureaucratic process [and] could cause uncertainty and chaos in the industry.” AIC said that instead of such a body, industry groups that already exist should be leveraged (a point that the telecom operators made in their filings).
  6. Leave non-telcos alone: In a line that content providers and middle-mile operators like cloud service providers have made clear (see, for instance, Akamai and Netflix‘s responses to earlier Net Neutrality consultations), AIC cautioned TRAI against regulating non-telcos. “Not all stakeholders in the Internet ecosystem are comparable,” the group said. “The net neutrality principles are vital for stakeholders that control the underlying and critical infrastructure and enjoy widespread access, such as traditional TSPs.” ISPs have demanded that content providers also be subject to Net Neutrality rules in the past. “An over-prescriptive approach could do more harm than good, especially in the case of Over-the-top service providers, for example, which require more flexibility and ability to innovate in order for the industry to grow,” the group concluded.

Links: Consultation | Filing

Dive deeper: Airtel’s submission | Reliance Jio’s submission | Barbara van Schewick’s submission

Written By

I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



Looking at the definition of health data, it is difficult to verify whether health IDs are covered by the Bill.


The accession to the Convention brings many advantages, but it could complicate the Brazilian stance at the BRICS and UN levels.


In light of the state's emerging digital healthcare apparatus, how does Clause 12 alter the consent and purpose limitation model?


The collective implication of leaving out ‘proportionality’ from Clause 12 is to provide very wide discretionary powers to the state.


The latest draft is also problematic for companies or service providers that have nothing to with children's data.

You May Also Like


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ