Internet to remain free and fair in India as Govt approves Net Neutrality

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The Telecom Commission (TC) has approved net neutrality rules that bar service providers from discriminating against Internet content and services by blocking, throttling or granting them higher speed access.

The decision that intends to ensure open and free Internet in the country was taken at a meeting of the Commission, the highest decision-making body in the Department of Telecommunication in New Delhi.

Telecom Commission Chairman Aruna Sundararajan told reporters after the meeting that some critical applications or services like remote surgery and autonomous cars will be kept out of the purview of net neutrality framework.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had recommended restrictions on service providers from entering into agreements which lead to discriminatory treatment of content on the Internet.

The Department of Telecom will set-up a multi-stakeholder body for monitoring and enforcement of net neutrality comprising government representatives, telecom operators, civil society members and others. Ms Sundararaj also said, TC also approved the new Telecom policy — National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) 2018 — and will now seek the Cabinet’s approval.

NDCP aims to attract investments worth 6 lakh 50,000 crore rupees, 40 lakh new jobs, 50 megabit per second broadband access to every citizen in the digital communications sector by 2022 with the help of reforms.

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