Indian Broadband Policy and Regulatory Resources

Issues on competition

Telecommunications markets of today’s world are highly conducive to competition. It has been shown in numerous cases competition has been the elixir behind the growth in mobile telephony sectors in the developing world. However, compared to fixed network, regulation of competition in the mobile telephony market is light. It is assumed that competition reduces the necessity of regulation.

Though, both Brazil and India adopted privatization and competition in telecom sector, the outcomes are different due to the different models followed these countries. In Brazil, there is higher broad band penetration, but with less dominance of domestic firms. In India, penetration of broadband is picking up and there is emergence of strong local payers. This article on Privatization, domestic players & broadband in developing countries describes competition in India in more detail.

Network Neutrality

Network neutrality (“net neutrality”) generally refers to the notion that an ISP should treat all traffic equally, whether content, application, or service. Based on this principle of nondiscrimination, proponents of net neutrality seek to restrict the ISPs’ ability to interfere with or inappropriately manage Internet traffic

According to this article, in India Airtel & Google have partnered to offer a new service where Airtel’s mobile users can access the Google search engine, Gmail and Google+ services for free, up to 1 GB. Google a strong proponent of Network Neutrality seem to be now working against the it.

Links

Mobile and Wireless Network Regulation related to Competition - This link focuses on competition related issues which are specific to wireless and mobile networks. This section will also describe how Spectrum Management, Licensing and Universal Service affect competition. 

Network Neutrality - The common understanding of net neutrality is a regulatory stance against any form of discrimination by telecom networks against users of the Internet, whether as suppliers of services and content or as consumers. This section covers the goals, regulatory approaches and governance issues related to Net Neutrality.

Articles 

 

EU regulators take tough approach to net neutrality 

How the mission for Internet equality is playing out around the world - Internet equality law in the US is having a birthday. Dig out the party hats, but don’t celebrate too hard. It’s only one chapter in a global debate that is set to define how we use the Internet for years to come.

Net Neutrality 2.0: Plans to Shift Control of Internet to Internationalists - This article contains information on the effect to net neutrality by handing control of assigning IP addresses and domain names over to an international body made up of governments and intergovernmental organizations.

Country Studies

Net Neutrality in US - In 2005, the FCC adopted a policy ascribing to the four principles of network neutrality. This policy stated that consumers are entitled to: access the lawful Internet content of their choice, run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement, connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network and competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.

However a recent ruling at US appeals court on 14th January 2014 rejected federal rules that required Internet providers to treat all web traffic equally, a decision that could allow mobile carriers and other broadband providers to charge content providers for faster access to websites and services. More information can be found here.