US To Follow India’s Path For Net Neutrality
Like India, the US Federal Communications Commission is closely following its Indian counterpart’s step on net neutrality, which guarantees free and unbiased access to the web for all.
The US regulatory authority chairman Tom Wheeler’s office wrote letter on 15th of June 2016 to Ram Sewak Sharma, Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, apprised the latter of the FCC’s recent win in the net neutrality debate with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upholding net neutrality rules passed by the regulator last year.
“Chairman Wheeler wanted me to let you know that today the US Court of appeals affirmed the FCC’s open internet order (net neutrality). It was a great victory for the Commission and we hope it will help our friends around the world as they debate their own net neutrality frameworks,” Mindel De La Torr, chief, International Bureau, Federal Communications Commission said. “We continue to follow Trai’s action in India on net neutrality as well”.
Both the US and Indian telecom regulators have raised the pitch to ensure an open internet. While FCC had defined rules around net neutrality last year —which the court upheld recently — Trai has tried to address one key element of the broader subject by recently banning discriminatory pricing of data services offered through public internet. Both orders though, could face legal battles in the days ahead.
The FCC’s order on net neutrality also referred to as the open internet rules, came into force from June 12 after a federal US court rejected three petitions to stay the US regulator’s order. The order mandates all internet traffic be treated equally, preventing telecom service providers and internet service providers from slowing or blocking any content.
Prasanth Sugathan, Counsel at SFLC.in, said that while the focus of the discussions in the US has been on broadband, throttling and fast lanes, in India, it’s around mobile internet, content discrimination and zero rating. “The regulations issued by the regulators of both the countries will definitely help other countries to also come up with clear rules on net neutrality,” he added.