Joining the ongoing debate on net neutrality and differential pricing of data services, National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) on Monday said neither telecommunication companies nor internet platforms should control the content as the world wide web is a public utility.
“We oppose any model where telecom service providers have a say in choosing the content or services,” said Rentala Chandrashekhar, president of Nasscom. “Differential pricing for data services either directly or indirectly through platforms, or selected by telecom companies in partnership with platforms violate the criteria of net neutrality.”
Nasscom’s views come in the wake of the country’s telecommunications regulator mulling new rules for differential pricing of data services by mobile phone companies. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has sought views from stakeholders on the issue, and has set Thursday as the deadline for submission of views. The regulator will then put up the initial views on its website for public comments and counter views until January 14, after which it will firm up its views on new rules by end of the month.
Sharing Nasscom’s submission to Trai, Chandrashekhar said, the software body has suggested that end consumers should have a final choice on the content and neither the telecom companies and their partners. If telecom companies and platforms control content through differential pricing, then it would violate net neutrality and also throttle innovation and services by smaller companies who cannot afford to onboard such platforms because of their lack of money.