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Telecom Commission approves net neutrality, new telecom policy

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The Telecom Commission has approved net neutrality rules which bar service providers from discriminating against Internet content and services by blocking, throttling or granting them higher speed access. Some mission critical applications or services like remote surgery and autonomous cars will however be kept out of the purview of net neutrality framework.

“The Telecom Commission (TC) today approved net neutrality as recommended by Trai expect some critical services will be kept out of its purview,” Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had recommended restrictions on service providers from entering into agreements which lead to discriminatory treatment of content on the Internet. TC also approved the new telecom policy — National Digital Communications Policy 2018 — for seeking approval of the Union Cabinet, Sundararajan said.

“Everybody in the meeting today said that digital infrastructure is even more important than physical infrastructure for India… CEO of Niti Ayog (Amitabh Kant) said that for districts, we must ensure digital infrastructure is provided at the earliest. Therefore, India must have ease of doing business and enabling policy environment,” she said.

An official, who was part of the meeting, said that the TC has approved installation of around 12.5 lakh Wi-Fi hotspot in all gram panchayats with viability gap funding of around Rs 6,000 crore by December 2018.

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