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What is net neutrality?

Topics Covered: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology.

What is net neutrality?

Net neutrality means that governments and internet service providers treat all data on the internet equally and does not differentially charge consumers for higher-quality delivery or giving preferential treatment to certain websites.

  • Network neutrality requires all Internet service providers (ISPs) to provide the same level of data access and speed to all traffic, and that traffic to one service or website cannot be blocked or degraded.

How net neutrality is treated/regulated in India?

Telecom and Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released the Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulations, 2016.

  • These regulations prohibit Telecom Service Providers from charging different tariffs from consumers for accessing different services online.


Why in News?

TRAI recently suggested the setting up of a multi-stakeholder body (MSB) to ensure that internet service providers in the country adhere to the principles of net neutrality.

The proposal:


The MSB should be a forum which would contain representatives and stakeholders from all telecom and internet service providers, content providers, researchers from the academic and technical community, as well as the government.


  • Assist the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in monitoring, and proposing technical standards and methodologies for the best practices to be adopted for traffic management practices.
  • Assist the DoT in enforcement of the best practices and handling of complaints on net neutrality.


Prelims Link:

  1. What is Net neutrality?
  2. Examples.
  3. TRAI guidelines on this.

Mains Link:

What do you understand by net neutrality? Why is it significant? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.