Tagged with: different kinds of data usages Eye on traffic management Internet Freedom Foundation issue of traffic management plans Net neutrality Net neutrality 2.0 Net neutrality 2.0 Eye on traffic management Netflix CEO phase of net neutrality discussions Supreme Court lawyer Apar Gupta The principle of net neutrality The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
NEW DELHI: A new phase of net neutrality discussions has begun, and this time it is sharply focused on the issue of traffic management plans.Such plans are put into place to make sure that internet bandwidth is maintained, or network security is in place.The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has asked a set of 14 questions in its latest consultation paper. Most of these seek comments on ideal internet traffic management plans, the ways to regulate them and to ensure that they do not violate
net neutrality .
The principle of net neutrality mandates that all data be treated equally. Internet service providers and owners of large content-based networks can control how data moves through the pipes. Depending on the kind of service they offer, they can determine how quickly your video buffers or whether a website appears blocked for you. These actions are part of standard traffic management practices. An internet service provider may regulate the amount of bandwidth available to you depending on whether
you are just sending an email or playing a graphic-heavy multiplayer online game.
However, doing all of this can require ISPs to distinguish between different kinds of data usages. “As a principle, discrimination in traffic may lead to harming the open internet. Hence, this needs to be regulated by clear rules,“ says Supreme Court lawyer Apar Gupta, who is also part of the Internet Freedom Foundation.
Internationally , there is a precedent for this. Infamously, in March 2014, a tussle between online video streaming service Netflix and ISP Comcast came out in the open. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings accused Comcast of throttling the speeds of his service unless Netflix coughed up interconnect charges.
Industry bodies in India say they are still formulating a position on the various issues raised by the paper and want to stay focused on maintain ing network quality . “The issue of categorisation is still being worked on,“ says Rajan Mathews who heads the Cellular Operators Association of India.
“For us, there is only one type of traffic data traffic. We only provide the roads for it. The fundamental principle for us is that we are responsible for the health, quality , and security of the network and making sure there are no bottlenecks,“ says Mathews.
National Association of Software and Services Companies president R Chandrasekhar says he sees traffic management and prioritisation of apps as different issues. Clarifying that NASSCOM is still in the process of considering TRAI’s questions, he says, “Traffic management is about optimising traffic dynamically based on how the network is being used. It doesn’t depend on which app is being used.“