India adopts 'world's strongest' net neutrality norms

Telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan

It also allows these providersto ignore net neutrality in case of emergencies, security threats or to manage high traffic across the network.

"The Telecom Commission today approved net neutrality as recommended by TRAI, except some critical services which will be kept out of its purview", Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan told reporters in New Delhi, according to PTI.

While web users in the States are still battling for open and fair Internet services, India has approved on what could be the world most progressive policy - free internet for all.

India's stand on net neutrality also came at a time when the USA had repealed its free internet rules and chose to allow internet providers to charge more for certain content or giving preferential treatment to certain websites through commercial agreements.

In order to ensure that they do, proponents say, the government needs to regulate the internet. The decision, which came into effect in June, paves the way for service providers to block or slow down access to particular content for users.

In a major triumph for netizens across India, the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) has agreed to follow Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) recommendations regarding net neutrality rules.

However, there are few internet services exempted from the laid down rules, termed "critical IOT services" and "specialized services" by TRAI chairman R S Sharma.

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The TRAI in 2016 rejected a plan - "Free Basics" - by Facebook to provide free access to certain services it controlled; however, the Indian government put a stop to the program over concerns that Facebook violated net neutrality by providing only select online content for free.

Internet service providers who break the rules could lose their licenses to operate in India.

In November'17, it issued its recommendations, backing neutrality.

The Senate is meeting to revive net neutrality, but chances are Trump Republicans will back the FCC and net neutrality will die.

Pahwa was at the forefront of India's first battle to preserve net neutrality in 2015, when Facebook's plan to provide free internet to hundreds of millions of Indians came under vast public pressure.

Due to a higher level of competition in Australia, ACCC chair Rod Sims doesn't see need for antipodean net neutrality laws.

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