The Centre on Wednesday accepted the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s recommendations on net neutrality. Net neutrality rules bar service providers from discriminating against internet content or services by blocking them or modifying access speeds.
“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. Services that will be excluded from net neutrality rules include systems critical to the operations of businesses or organisations – known as mission critical systems – as well as remote surgery procedures and autonomous cars.
The Telecom Commission also accepted the National Digital Communications Policy 2018, which will now be sent to the Union Cabinet for its approval. “Everybody in the meeting today said that digital infrastructure is even more important than physical infrastructure for India,” Sundararajan said.
“The future growth of the telecom sector and of other access networks is contingent upon innovation in and growth of the Internet infrastructure and the many applications, content and services linked to it,” TRAI said in its recommendations in November. “The authority has recommended an amendment to the license agreements to clarify the principle of unrestricted access given under the appropriate license agreements.”