Rejecting telecom operators request to allow exclusive tie-up with content providers in advance, telecom regulator Trai today said that it needs to examine actual plans before giving its approval.
“TSPs (telecom service providers) are required to submit full details of the arrangements with content providers so as to enable the Authority to take a view as to whether or not such arrangements are compliant with the regulations.
Without examining the details of such arrangements it would not be possible for the Authority to give an opinion based on hypothetical cases,” Trai said in a letter to telecom industry bodies COAI and AUSPI.
The Cellular Operators Association of India and the Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India approached Trai to review its decision on discriminatory pricing regulation and allow telecom operators to provide exclusive content on their network as per rate suitable to them for business growth.
Bharti Airtel too approached the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) for its view on providing an exclusive video service using intranet, as the telecom major seeks to steer clear of any possible net-neutrality row.
Airtel said that has been approached by one of the big global content providers who wishes to offer video content on exclusive basis over the closed electronic communications network (CECN) of the telecom major in compliance with existing rules of Trai.
It further said that while the arrangement would be compliant to the regulations, it be viewed by some stakeholders in violation of principles of net neutrality.
The regulator has rejected blind permit to such proposals.
Backing net neutrality, Trai has barred operators from charging different rates for Internet access based on content.
It ruled against discriminatory pricing for different data platforms or content and said operators cannot enter into pacts with Internet companies to subsidise access to some websites.
Companies violating the rules will be fined Rs 50,000 per day for the duration of contravention, subject to a maximum of Rs 50 lakh.
Trai also said that it cannot allow violation of its rule on differential pricing as it has been notified after extensive consultation process and considering views expressed by millions of stakeholders.