Telecom Minister Reiterates Net Neutrality Recommendations Not Final

Telecom Minister Reiterates Net Neutrality Recommendations Not Final
The recent report submitted by the government on net neutrality was not the final one, and the final view is still awaited, parliament was informed on Wednesday.

"The committee of officers constituted by the Department of Telecommunications on net neutrality has submitted its report. However, it is not the final report nor the government has taken any final view," Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

The report, submitted by the panel headed by technocrat A.K. Bhargava, was made public on July 16, and said it favoured an end to the free call regime over the internet.

(Also see:  DoT's Net Neutrality Report: 9 Points That Warrant a Closer Look)

"The government is committed to the fundamental principles and concept of net neutrality and strives for non-discriminatory access to the internet for all citizens of the country," the minister added.

Prasad also mentioned that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) was engaged in a consultation process covering issues related to net neutrality, whose recommendations were awaited.

"Based on the committee report, comments and suggestions received and recommendations of Trai, the government will take a considered decision on various aspects of net neutrality, in the best interest of the country," Prasad added.

Prasad had last week, a day after the panel's report on Thursday, said the recommendations are not the final view of the government and a "structured" decision will be taken only after looking into views of all stakeholders.

"Net neutrality report has come and I want to make this clear that it is not the report of the government. It is the report of the Department of Telecom," Prasad had told reporters on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi last week.

"It is the report of a committee of officers which I had constituted to study the entire gamut of net neutrality," he'd added.

Written with agency inputs

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