CCI waits for Net Neutrality norms to probe

Published on May 11, 2015 00:37:15 AM
With debate continuing to rage on Net Neutrality, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) will wait for regulations to be in place before taking a call on whether actions of telecom and Internet firms amount to unfair ways. The CCI started looking into whether telecom operators and Internet service providers are indulging in unfair business ways by extending preferential treatment to select mobile applications and websites.

However, the watchdog has now decided to wait for more clarity on regulations for ensuring net neutrality before moving further. "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 said. It is not an issue for the CCI right now, the official noted. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently floated a discussion paper seeking comments on regulatory framework for Net Neutrality, and the opinion is divided on the issue.

The government has said meanwhile that it stands for ensuring non-discriminatory access to the Internet for all.  CCI, which keeps a tab on unfair business practices across sectors, orders a detailed probe into a matter only if there is prima-facie evidence of anti-competitive ways. The Net Neutrality debate was sparked off recently after some telecom operators and Internet companies came up with plans that offer preferential treatment in using the Internet.