Net Neutrality approved by Telecom Commission

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The Telecom Commission is the highest decision-making body in the Department of Telecommunications, approved the net neutrality rules implying internet will remain open to everybody in the country. This is in sync with the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).Earlier, barred telecom operators from offering differential pricing of data, putting an end to Facebook’s Free Basics and Airtel Zero.

The regulator had recommended a change in the licence conditions to restrict any form of discrimination in Internet access based on content. The DoT will form a committee to identify critical services and come up with a separate regime for them which includes autonomous vehicles and digitized healthcare, certain types of traffic need to be prioritized.

Another approval of TC apart from net neutrality is  new telecom policy — National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP), 2018 — aimed at promoting investments, ease of doing business, and emerging technologies like 5G. The TC approved a proposal to rationalise double taxation for virtual network operators (VNOs) as well. Another proposal approved by TC includes setting up of 12.5 lakh wi-fi hotspots across all the gram panchayats. The DoT will provide Rs 6000 crore as viability gap funding to service providers to set up these hotspots.

Telecom Commission :

The Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Telecommunications is the ex-officio Chairmen of the Telecom Commission. The part-time Members of the Telecom Commission are Cheif Executive Officer, NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog, Secretary (Department of Economic Affairs), Secretary ( Department of Electronics & Information Technology) and Secretary (Departmnet of Industrial Policy & Promotion). The Chief Executive Officer, NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog has been nominated as a (part-time) Member of the Telecom Commission.