Go for ‘same services same rules’, Internet body to Trai


New Delhi, April 24 : Internet service providers’ body ISPAI has suggested that regulator Trai adopt ‘same services same rule’ to define Net neutrality while agreeing that there should be no discrimination in accessing the Internet in terms of pricing or speed.

“In our opinion, ‘same services same rule’ policy should be adopted and it’s up to the government to decide the modality,” Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) said, in response to Trai paper on Net neutrality and framework for over-the-top (OTT) services like Gtalk, Viber, WhatsApp, Line and the like.

The representative body said there is regulatory imbalance between OTT players which provide Internet-based messaging and calling applications and Internet service providers (ISPs).

“Imbalance exists in a regulatory environment. While ISPs are subjected to stringent regulation/laws, OTTs get a free hand. It’s highly unfavourable situation for ISPs which have made huge investments in telecom infrastructure and it further affects their capability to make future investment and upgrade networks,” ISPAI said.

The body suggested that OTT-media should provide end users a certain level of security and privacy, which is not the case today on public Internet.

“The consumer interests and national security should not be ignored and hence, it is necessary to bring OTTs offering Communication Service under the fold of regulation as appropriate while applying Same Services Same Rule policy,” ISPAI explained.

It added that “there should not be any blocking, throttling or paid preferential treatment of retail broadband traffic by the ISPs”.