Don’t rush to regulate OTTs
This is in reference to the piece “Internet impact goes beyond net neutrality” (April 22). In India, internet penetration is a mere 18% compared to even Vietnam’s 43%. Looking at global figures, I think TRAI should not hurry in trying to regulate the growth of OTT services in India at this stage. Any attempt to regulate OTT services is definitely going to slow down the internet penetration which is very crucial for country’s development, especially in rural areas which are anyway suffering due to the ‘digital divide’. The government should wait till internet penetration reaches a comfortable level and only then introduce limited regulations in a way that it does not pinch any group. Killing a goose readying itself to lay golden eggs will be a blunder and may lead to irreversible damage to the growth of internet in India.
Power conundrum will remain
Apropos of the column “The power conundrum”, getting state electricity boards to reform could be a tall ask as they are still under the spell of their respective state governments. Wherever the NDA is not in power, the states are completely free to set their own power tariffs and play populist politics. Once the power sector is bankrupt in these states, there will be calmour for bailouts that will only grow too loud for the Centre to ignore. The states can blame the Centre roundly if they don’t get the funds to revive the sector in their own jurisdictions and the NDA would then face the dilemma of whether to do the economically sensible thing or the politically sensible thing.