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CCI to wait-n-watch before taking on telcos’ net neutrality

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The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has decided to wait for regulations on Net Neutrality before taking any action against telecom and Internet firms over giving preferential treatment to mobile operators and websites.

The CCI said it would wait for more clarity on regulations ensuring access to free Internet before moving ahead. “With regard to the issue of Net Neutrality, there are no clear regulations in place so far. The authorities are working on it and once the regulations are clear, then we (Commission) can look at the issue,” a senior CCI official told a news agency.

The Government has so far maintained that it stands by ensuring non-discriminatory access to Internet to all. Even the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had invited suggestions from net users on Net Neutrality.

CCI, which keeps a tab on unfair business practices across sectors, will order a detailed probe into a matter only if there is prima-facie evidence of anti-competitive ways.

The debate over Net Neutrality was triggered after leading telecom carrier Bharti Airtel announced ‘Airtel Zero’, an open marketing platform that allows customers to access a variety of mobile applications for free, with the data charges being paid by start-ups and large companies.

TRAI last week had said it did not intend to police the Internet but there were three unexceptional principles including ‘no blocking’ which are not debatable.

It recently came out with a consultation paper for regulatory framework on over-the-top (OTT) service like Internet-based calling and messaging services and Net Neutrality.

Source: Business Insider

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