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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Net Neutrality: India is a Keybattle Ground - Interview with Sunil Abraham

Net Neutrality: India is a Keybattle Ground | Hard News: Interview with Sunil Abraham:

"Network neutrality policies need to consider free speech, privacy, competition, diversity and innovation goals of the markets they seek to regulate. If we are not being doctrinaire about network neutrality we could adopt what Chris Marsden calls forward-looking “positive net neutrality” wherein “higher QoS (Quality of Service) for higher prices should be offered on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory [FRAND] terms to all comers”. FRAND, according to Prof. Marsden, is well understood by the telcos and ISPs (Internet Service Providers) as it is the basis of common carriage. This understanding of network neutrality allows for technical and business model innovation by ISPs and telcos without the associated harms. There are zero-rating services being launched by Mozilla, Jaana, Mavin and others that are attempting to do this. I do not believe that they violate network neutrality principles, unlike Airtel Zero or

Q: While this report attempts to arrive at a middle ground between the TSPs and the OTTs, how is this going to reflect in the government’s ‘Digital India’ programme? 

We know we have a policy solution when all stakeholders are equally unhappy. But we also need an elegant solution that is easy to implement. Scholars like Vishal Mishra have a theoretical solution based on the Shapley Value, that assumes a multi-sided market model, but this may not work in real life. Professor V. Sridhar has a very elegant idea of setting a ceiling and floor for price and speed and also for insisting on a minimum QoS of the whole of the Internet. These ideas I have not heard in the American and European debate around network neutrality. I remain hopeful that the Indian middle ground will be qualitatively different, given that the structure and constraints of the Indian telecom sector are very different from that in developed countries." 'via Blog this'

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