Trai will not touch internet’s freedom; Rahul Khullar
Rahul Khullar is a very busy man these days. The TRAI chief, he is under immense stress to keep the internet free from any sort of censorship or compromising the net neutrality.
After waiting for rather very long, the telecom regulator has come out openly and said that his organization is not eager to police the internet. This is going to come as a surprise to many people who were hoping that the BJP government at the center may not keep the internet as free as it was.
Trai Chairman Rahul Khullar told the media today that he and his organization do not intend to police the internet but there are three unexceptional principles including â€˜no blockingâ€™ which are not debatable.
While making his point more clear he said, â€œAnybody in right frame of mind would not try to regulate or police the internet. They would find a way around. But we need to understand that there are certain issues that need to be addressedâ€. He said it while speaking at an event organised by O P Jindal University. He, however, added that there cannot be any debate on three unexceptional principles. â€œNo blocking, transparency and no throttling or degrading adware. There canâ€™t be simply no debate on this.â€ TRAI has recently floated a consultation paper for regulatory framework on over-the-top (OTT) service like internet-based calling and messaging services and net neutrality.
For the last several weeks the issue of net neutrality is hogging the limelight. The regulator has received over 10 lakh response on its paper favouring net neutrality which means that no artificial barrier like slowing down of internet speed or differentiating between services available on internet, especially on payment basis. Khullar said Trai did not issue paper on the matter with intention to regulate internet.
While detailing it further he said, â€œPeople have confused this idea. I have been in civil services for 40 years and have some sense how public policy is made. We tend to form opinion in advance of factsâ€¦which in my view is extremely dangerousâ€. He said that if telecom companies are going to do traffic management then it should be disclosed to public that they are not abusing authority. An intense debate is going on on net neutrality in the country after telecom major Airtel in December decided to charge separately for VoIP or internet based calls. The debate was triggered after Airtel announced a zero rating platform in April which allows its subscribers freely access applications on its Airtel Zero platform but applications are required to pay certain fee for joining its platform.