Mail that I sent to TRAI as response to the 20 questions released along with consultation paper
I would request for a response to this mail or an acknowledgment to make my self clear that I am not fooled along with other 3 lacks + people
Question 1: Is it too early to establish a regulatory framework for Internet/OTT services,since internet penetration is still evolving, access speeds are generally low and there is limited coverage of high-speed broadband in the country? Or, should some beginning be made now with a regulatory framework that could be adapted to changes in the future? Please comment with justifications.
No.It seems like you have already decided to bring in regulation and asking us necessity of launching it at this moment or later. First up all you are not supposed to put any restriction to the data which is a clear violation of netneutrality. As all of you know that United Nations itself has stated that Net Neutrality is A Human Right for the Digital Age.
Question 2: Should the Internet/OTT players offering communication services (voice, messaging and video call services through applications (resident either in the country or outside) be brought under the licensing regime?Please comment with justifications.
No.I am not very clear about licensing regime you meant. However I assume with the license regime you meant some sort of restriction which I am not in favor of.
Question 3: Is the growth of Internet/OTT impacting the traditional revenue stream of Telecom operators/Telecom operators?If so, is the increase in data revenues of the Telecom Operators sufficient to compensate for this impact? Please comment with reasons.
No, as per my understanding. And why do you want to ask this question to the public ? Why don’t you consult gov records and get the detail.In case you dont find right resources , I am sharing what ever available to me.
In short they are earning hell lot.
Question 4: Should the Internet/OTT players pay for use of the Telecom Operators network over and above data charges paid by consumers? If yes, what pricing options can be adopted? Could such options include prices based on bandwidth consumption?Can prices be used as a means of product/service differentiation? Please comment with justifications.
I think you are asking same question twisted a little. Since I said no , not necessary to answer pricing option part.
TRAI does not need to worry about private players making money out of their business. Telecom companies charge users based on standard market prize for data usage , charging again for internet/OTT services can not be done without the violation of netneutrality and there is no need of it.
Question 5: Do you agree that imbalances exist in the regulatory environment in the operation of Internet/OTT players?If so, what should be the framework to address these issues? How can the prevailing laws and regulations be applied to Internet/OTT players (who operate in the virtual world) and compliance enforced? What could be the impact on the economy? Please comment with justifications.
I am not clear on imbalances that you are pointing out , hence I cant justify .
Question 6: How should the security concerns be addressed with regard to Internet/OTT players providing communication services?What security conditions such as maintaining data records, logs etc. need to be mandated for such Internet/OTT players?And, how can compliance with these conditions be ensured if the applications of such Internet/OTT players reside outside the country?Please comment with justifications.
Security concerns are all under the purview of the home ministry, therefore it is illogical for TRAI to even come up with such a question. When asked about such things, it pains me to remind TRAI that we already have a policy in place which was drafted after 26/11 terror attack to prevent misuse of OTT voice communication by terror groups. Indian intelligence agencies such as IB and RAW coordinate on a regular basis with other organizations outside India to assess and classify threats, and it has so far worked.
Therefore, using “terror” as a scare tactic to break net neutrality is CONDEMNABLE. Most OTT apps have a legal policy on their use, and therefore, it is something which is self managed. India, has, in instances, blocked internet in areas where terror attacks were imminent or suspected. Therefore it is best of TRAI to not use security as an excuse. Use and purchase of SIM cards is now also monitored, therefore we can verify the identity of each person using internet. If he/she is a threat, such things will automatically be flagged by the IB and information coordination between all stake holders is the key.
Question 7: How should the Internet/OTT players offering app services ensure security, safety and privacy of the consumer?How should they ensure protection of consumer interest? Please comment with justifications
Question 8: In what manner can the proposals for a regulatory framework for OTTs in India draw from those of ETNO,referred to in para or the best practices? And, what practices should be proscribed by regulatory fiat? Please comment with justifications.
ETNO is similar to India’s COAI which makes it an industry lobby group. Understandably, the suggestions made by ETNO heavily favor the telecom companies and will be detrimental to customers if India refers to their suggestions.
ETNO’s stand have been widely criticized in the past. Europe’s own group of government regulators [Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication (BEREC)]
http://berec.europa.eu/files/document_register_store/2012/11/BoR_%2812%29_120_BEREC_on_ITR.pdf ETNO’s proposals could jeopardize the “continued development of the open, dynamic and global platform that the Internet provides” which will “lead to an overall loss of welfare”. Additionally, the international free expression group Article 19 says ETNO’s proposal “would seriously undermine net neutrality.
According to Access Now, ETNO’s recommendations would have meant higher data charges for customers while from an entrepreneur’s standpoint, it will limit their ability to reach out to a wider market. For a small but fast growing startup and digital media sector in India, this can potentially ring the death knell. ETNO’s suggestions on this subject so far have failed to have been accepted by any government agency – including the regulators in their own host countries. It is therefore especially troubling that TRAI is choosing to make one of their proposals a pillar of this public consultation here in India.
Question 9: What are your views on net-neutrality in the Indian context? How should the various principles be dealt with?Please comment with justifications.
I believe net neutrality will have same context whether it is in India or in USA.Net Neutrality is a founding principle of the Internet which guarantees that telecoms operators remain mere transmitters of information and do not discriminate between different users, their communications or content accessed. It ensures that all users, whatever their resources, access the same and whole network. But this principle is being undermined as operators develop business models that restrict access by throttling or blocking specific online content, services or applications (protocols, websites, etc.), or their users’ freedom to publish information. In the face of these attempts to undermine the decentralized architecture of the Internet, and the freedom of communication and innovation it represents, lawmakers must guarantee Net Neutrality. Internet access providers must be sanctioned if they discriminate Internet communications, be it according to the source, the recipient, or the nature of the information being transmitted. It this does not happen, we will create an Internet where only users able to pay for privileged access enjoy the network’s full capabilities. It should be a must, given that the entire developed world: which includes USA, EU and many many more countries has already passed laws confirming internet as a resource similar to the internet and thus STOPPING any discrimination done by companies over services derived from the internet.
Question 10: What forms of discrimination or traffic management practices are reasonable and consistent with a pragmatic approach?What should or can be permitted? Please comment with justifications.
Nothing. Allowing any sort of discrimination is violation of netneutrality.
Question 11: Should the Telecom Operators be mandated to publish various traffic management techniques used for differentOTT applications? Is this a sufficient condition to ensure transparency and a fair regulatory regime?
First up all ISPs are not supposed to regulate the traffic. Instead I would want TRAI/GOI to come up with laws that prohibit and criminalize regulation of any data flow so that ensure internet is neutral.
Question 12: How should the conducive and balanced environment be created such that Telecom Operators are able to invest in network infrastructure and CAPs are able to innovate and grow? Who should bear the network upgradation costs?
Please comment with justifications.
As I have answered to the question 3 , telceome operators profit has doubled in last year. Telecoms are rich enough to invest anywhere in India with the profit they are making. I personally believe that since profit what telecom companies make solely owned by them what ever investment costs, network
upgradation costs and other expenses need be bared by them self.
Question 13: Should Telecom Operators be allowed to implement non-price based discrimination of services?If so, under what circumstances are such practices acceptable? What restrictions, if any, need to be placed so that such measures are not abused? What measures should be adopted to ensure transparency to consumers?Please comment with justifications.
Non-price based discrimination that are presented as an offer to the customers is purely based on the business interest and based on tie up between telecome companies and internet application/ott players. This is a clear violation of netneutrality , slowly those services as well as service provider become monopoly , though this plan looks very customer friendly in the beginning.
Right now Netneutrality nature of internet assure anyone to utilize internet and its service regardless . Transparency is pointless here when netneutrality itself is compromised.
Question 14: Is there a justification for allowing differential pricing for data access and OTT communication services? If so, what changes need to be brought about in the present tariff and regulatory framework for telecommunication services in the country? Please comment with justifications.
This is repetition of Q 13.
I am copying and pasting same answer here with minor tweeks.
Price based discrimination that are presented as offer to the customers is purely based on the business interest and tie upbetween telecome companies and internet application/ott vendors. This is a clear violation of netneutrality , slowly those services as well as service provider become monopoly , though this plan looks very customer friendly. Right now Netneutrality nature of internet assure anyone to utilize internet and its service regardless whether they are student or professional , left wing activist or right wing activists,start up company or corporate. Transparency is pointless here when netneutrality itself is compromised.
Question 15: Should OTT communication service players be treated as Bulk User of Telecom Services (BuTS)?How should the framework be structured to prevent any discrimination and protect stakeholder interest?Please comment with justification.
No. Do not discriminate anyone on internet. And I strongly condemn the act of introducing new terminologies and turning it as a way of charging more money. In fact I am not in favor of using the term OTT , there are no Over the top concept on internet , all are internet based players.
Question 16: What framework should be adopted to encourage India specific OTT apps? Please comment with justifications.
So that you can block app from Pakistan !! , quite interesting and I I feel it s senseless.Assume that if country like America come up with such policies what would be situation here , Indian user can just use internet for local online news reading and railway ticket booking.
In recent past many of Indian OTT players made their name heard due to the innovative ideas and quality of service that they offer within the existing framework, let that continue as it is.
Question 17: If the App based/OTT communication service players are to be licensed, should they be categorized as ASP or CSP?If so, what should be the framework? Please comment with justifications.
No. Repeated question.
Question 18: Is there a need to regulate subscription charges for App based/OTT communication services?Please comment with justifications.
No. Repeated question.
Question 19: What steps should be taken by the Government for regulation of non-communication App based/OTT players?Please comment with justifications.
No. Repeated Question
Question 20: Are there any other issues that have a bearing on the subject discussed?
I personally feel that TRAI is lobbied by Telecomes so as to come up with such biased consultation paper. As I mentioned earlier by groin through this paper I doubt that decision has already made in favor of Telecoms and you just want something for excuse later on saying that you consulted with public before making such a decision. However our struggle for neutral internet will continue online as well as offline.
Courtesy : I have referred the draft prepared by online community on reddit india for certain clarification.