Optimisation of net neutrality needed for citizens’ welfare: Assocham

New Delhi: Stressing the importance of net neutrality in India, industry chamber Assocham on Monday said it has to be optimised for the maximum welfare of the citizens.

“India urgently needs net neutrality but one that is optimised for the maximum welfare of its citizens keeping in mind our own constraints and state of digital development,” Assocham said in a statement.

The submissions made by Assocham said: “It would be retrograde for India’s economic development and harmful to our citizens to impose a westernised version of net neutrality and thereby damage our vision of Digital India. The urgent need of the hour is an Indian version of net neutrality.

“The manner of treatment of this new segment of OTT (over-the-top) services in respect of applicable policy and regulation would play a crucial part in how effectively the country improves its extremely low position in ICT development (rank 129 out of a total of 163 countries and placed in the category of Least Connected Countries) and gains a more respectable global position in this regard,” it added.

“There are great opportunities as well as challenges arising from the recent advent of OTT services, however significant consumer benefits need to be fully exploited, serious challenges as regards loss of revenues to the government, privacy and security implications, threat to infrastructure from non-level playing field and other such factors need to be addressed most expeditiously,” said T.V. Ramachandran, chairman of Assocham’s National Council on Telecommunications.