BEREC seeks common understanding on net neutrality with India

05 April 2017

Every year, BEREC organises an international mission to a country outside the EU to get insights regarding the country’s electronic communications and digital markets and to promote bilateral relations. This year, the BEREC delegation, composed of BEREC Chair and Vice-Chairs visited India from 29 March until 5 April. The objective was in particular to meet with key stakeholders of the dynamic Indian digital ecosystem.

On this occasion, the BEREC Chair and Vice-Chairs had a meeting with the Indian Regulatory Authority (TRAI).  Net neutrality, IT and digital ecosystem were among the most important topics to discuss between the BEREC delegation and TRAI.

BEREC Chair Sebastien Soriano (Arcep) took this opportunity to emphasise that European regulators followed with great interest the Indian regulator’s move to ban Free Basics. He also expressed BEREC’s interest in the Indian industry’s dynamism, notably the impact of Reliance Jio on the market, the cost-sharing model through tower companies and the digital enabler Aadhaar. 

This meeting was the occasion for BEREC Chair and Vice-Chairs to engage in a discussion with their Indian counterpart to find the points where they have a common understanding about net neutrality. “India is the most important democracy in the world; Europe is the second one. So, as net neutrality is a democratic issue, it’s really important that the most important democracies stick together to see if we are considering this the same way.” 

In this regard, BEREC Chair informed the Indian regulator that BEREC intends to dedicate an important part of its work to net neutrality this year. In particular, a BEREC report on implementation of the net neutrality rules in the EU is to be issued this year. It is also envisaged that, in 2017, BEREC experts will elaborate a tool kit for quality of service measurements

BEREC Chair interview in an Indian newspaper.