Net neutrality in India

The Indian government is considering whether to apply a regulatory framework to developing over-the-top services in its country, with particular emphasis on net neutrality principles. Recently the regulatory body there asked stakeholders if it’s too early to establish such a framework, given that Internet penetration in the country is still evolving, access speeds are generally low and there is limited coverage of high-speed broadband in the country?

As I told the Indian government, It’s never too early to protect an emerging market from over- or under-regulation. Click here for my submission to India’s consultation on net neutrality and Over-the-top services. Summary:

India’s inquiry into the regulation of Internet, broadband, and OTT services is certainly timely. The nation stands at the very beginning of its Internet era, with a mere 20 percent adoption of Internet service. As in most countries, younger, better-educated English-speaking Indians are more than twice as likely to use the Internet as others. By contrast, 87 percent of Americans use the Internet or own a smartphone. Trai rightly observes that India’s Internet issues are not the same as America’s, a point that seems lost on interested parties who urge India to mimic the US approach to Internet regulation.

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