Fwd: Web Foundation responds to India consultation on net neutrality

willi uebelherr willi.uebelherr at riseup.net
Wed Mar 15 19:50:44 UTC 2017

for your information

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: Fwd: Web Foundation responds to India consultation on net 
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2017 16:45:52 -0300
From: willi uebelherr <willi.uebelherr at riseup.net>
To: ISOC Internet Policy <internetpolicy at elists.isoc.org>, IGF gov 
<governance at lists.igcaucus.org>
CC: IETF discussion <ietf at ietf.org>, IRTF discuss 
<irtf-discuss at irtf.org>, IRTF gaia <gaia at irtf.org>, IGF dc 
<dc at intgovforum.org>, IGF dc ctu 
<dc_connectingtheunconnected at intgovforum.org>, IGF dc civ 
<values at coreinternetvalues.org>

Dear friends,

this email i received from the Web Foundation. It is a very good 
contribution to our discussions to net neutrality in a concrete environment.

many greetings, willi
Asuncion, Paraguay

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: Web Foundation responds to India consultation on net neutrality
Date: 	Wed, 15 Mar 2017 14:21:52 +0000
From: 	Web Foundation <>

Web Foundation responds to India consultation on net neutrality

Net neutrality — the principle that all internet traffic be treated 
equally — is fundamental to our mission to deliver digital equality — a 
world where everyone has the same rights and opportunities online. Why? 
If dominant content providers can pay to have their traffic prioritised, 
it risks harming competition and innovation, while limiting freedom of 
expression. If governments block or censor content that they do not 
agree with, it hurts free speech and democracy.

Today, in partnership with the Digital Empowerment Foundation 
<https://defindia.org/>(DEF), the Web Foundation has made a submission 
to an important consultation on net neutrality in India. Responding to 
questions from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the Web 
Foundation and DEF have jointly made four key recommendations:

*1) Consider introducing a no-fee basic data allowance*
Today, mobile broadband penetration is India is estimated to be less 
than 10% (GSMA Intelligence Q4 2016). Addressing this challenge will 
require innovative interventions which should be encouraged by the 
government. However, we argue that interventions to provide access for 
low-income and/or marginalised communities must also adhere to net 
neutrality principles, as they should for all Indians. Previous attempts 
in India include zero-rating programmes which restricted users to a 
limited set of sites or services, and these proved controversial. 
Meanwhile, research 
the Alliance for Affordable Internet has suggested such zero rating 
initiatives are not effective in bringing new users online, and that 
users would rather have free access to the whole internet, even if it is 
limited by time or data allocation. Our joint suggestion is for TRAI to 
explore ways to provide a basic monthly data allowance. Other countries, 
such as Colombia 
are already experimenting with such policies: given the size of India’s 
market and the country’s global influence, the successful implementation 
of such an initiative could be world-leading and transformative.

*2) Encourage TSPs to make detailed information available on important 
areas such as quality of service and network neutrality compliance— in 
open data formats wherever possible*
In order for regulators, citizens and civil society to monitor progress 
and ensure traffic management practices abide by net neutrality 
guidelines, detailed information that can easily be analysed is needed. 
For this reason, we propose that TSPs be required to make detailed, 
technical filings with TRAI either quarterly or bi-annually, and to post 
the results on their websites too. Wherever feasible, this information 
should be released as open data 
<https://blog.okfn.org/2013/10/03/defining-open-data/>— free for anyone 
to reuse or analyse — in order to maximise transparency and accountability.

*3) Don’t ban paid service-specific data bundles *—*unless there is a 
relationship between mobile operators and content providers*
We argue that application-specific traffic discrimination should not be 
allowed. However, one exception is the case of service-specific data 
bundles — where TSPs charge different rates for access to certain sites 
or applications. Such bundles can be a good way for operators to respond 
to customer demand and devise innovative ways for more people to connect 
and communicate affordably. As such, we recommend that they should be 
encouraged, with any complaints dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The 
caveats, of course, are if there is a commercial relationship between 
TSPs and the sites or applications included in the bundle or if the 
content is not available on a non-exclusive basis to all TSPs; in such 
cases, we believe that service-specific data bundles should not be allowed.

*4) Consider creating a dedicated advisory committee on net neutrality 
*—*with representatives from government, business and civil society*
It is clear that net neutrality is a vital issue. Preserving and 
enhancing it will help Indian entrepreneurs and established businesses 
alike, and can help millions more to connect affordably. Yet it is also 
a complex issue, which will continue to shift and evolve over time. For 
this reason, we recommend that TRAI considers establishing a dedicated 
advisory committee on net neutrality, made up of representatives from 
business, government, academia and civil society. One of the most 
important mandates of this committee would be to explore the 
implications of emerging technologies on the principles of network 
neutrality, which TRAI should revisit every two years to allow for agile 
policy design. We do not envision this body as one that can take actions 
in case of any violation of network neutrality. However, the committee 
would be able to make recommendations directly to TRAI.

/The Web Foundation also made a submission to TRAI’s previous 
consultation on net neutrality in 2015, which can be //accessed here/ 
<http://webfoundation.org/2015/04/net-neutrality-india/>/. /

/The Digital Empowerment Foundation’s’ previous submissions can be 
accessed below:/

   * /////Submission on Consultation Paper on Differential pricing for
     Data Services/

   * /////Submission on Consultation Paper on OTT Services/

   * /////Submission on Consultation on Free Data Provision/

   * /////Submission on Pre-Consultation Paper on net Neutrality/


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