The Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, has publicly opposed the demands of private telecom companies and internet service providers (Telcos) to impose charges on Over-The-Top (OTT) services.
This is in response to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) consultation paper titled 'Regulatory mechanism for over-the-top (OTT) communication services, and selective banning of OTT services'.
Taking to X earlier today, Chandrasekhar emphasised India's pioneering role in ensuring net neutrality, a concept that prevents discriminatory practices and ensures equal access to the internet for all.
In his tweet, he shared his perspective on the significance of net neutrality and its impact on India's innovation ecosystem.
The debate over whether OTTs should contribute financially to telecom infrastructure usage continues to stir discussions among stakeholders.
OTT services encompass various domains, including streaming, networking, shopping, and gaming, and have played a crucial role in India's digital entrepreneurship landscape.
These OTT services offer high-quality content to users at minimal or no cost, thereby stimulating the rapid expansion of data consumption and economic activities across the country.
Mandating revenue-sharing arrangements between OTTs and Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) could potentially reverse this trend by discouraging growth for OTT-based businesses in India.
A volume-based revenue-sharing model may act as a ceiling for their continued expansion, possibly creating entry barriers for startups in this sector.
The outcome of TRAI's consultations on regulating app-layer services and the subsequent policy decisions will likely shape the future of net neutrality and the OTT industry in India.