A DoT panel is likely to meet on February 12 to discuss issues related to formulating an effective policy for net neutrality. This will be the second meeting of the Department of Telecom (DoT) panel, which was formed to examine economic impact of implementation of net-neutrality principle on the telecom sector.
Net-neutrality principle says that access to Internet or any Internet-based service should be without any barrier or discrimination. "The next meeting is scheduled to take place on February 12," a source said.
The meeting is likely to discuss issues like pricing distortion in telecom services arising out of arbitrage between its voice and data components which has resulted in a situation where operators have incentive in discriminating traffic components through their networks, sources said.
Impact of net-neutrality on Digital India is also likely to be deliberated on, they added. Telecom operators have been asking the government to bring over-the-top (OTT) players like Skype, WhatsApp, Viber under regulation as they are making a dent in their revenues.
OTT players facilitate their users to make calls or send voice and video messages through Internet for free. OTT subscribers are only required to pay for Internet data consumed for using the service.
Recently, Bharti Airtel came up with a scheme to charge separately for Internet-based voice calls provided by mobile applications like Skype, Viber and Line. The company later withdrew the scheme, following huge public outcry on the social media against these charges.