The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has welcomed the DoT Committee recommendations on net neutrality. It has shown agreement with the DoT report which states that the primary goal of public policy should be directed towards facilitating affordable and universal connectivity.
IAMAI promotes the principle that guarantees consumers equal access to all data, apps and services on the Internet, with no discrimination on the basis of tariffs or speed. The DoT paper recommends a similar position which is in line with IAMAI’s earlier submission to DoT on net neutrality.
The industry body also welcomed the DoT recommendation that OTT services should be actively encouraged and any impediments in expansion and growth of OTT application services should be removed. IAMAI has also suggested that bringing in more regulation would be counterproductive to innovation and investments in this sector.
While much of the report was in tandem with IAMAI’s position, the association found that the DoT report doesn’t fully recognise the value and potential of zero rating and other pro-access programs. IAMAI believes these programs have the potential to dramatically expand Internet access in India and bring more people online. The industry body finds that not all zero ratings are violating the net neutrality principles and especially in countries like India where Internet penetration is very low, such services can actually help in faster proliferation of broadband. They recommend that the net neutrality laws should keep the plan of zero-rated services open and implement along the lines that are not anti-competitive and in line with the principles of net neutrality.
In light of the observations made in the DoT committee report on net neutrality, IAMAI states that there are already enough regulations on the Internet Telephony in India and there is no need to further bring a licensing or revenue share arrangement between the OTTs and TSPs. Calls from Skype to mobile numbers and land line consume reasonably less, but is not yet permitted in India. IAMAI believes that additional regulations will disrupt VOIP and will also skew any further innovation in the field.