OTT Companies, Internet Lobbies Oppose Regulation Demand by Telecom Operators

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The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Broadband India Forum and the Asia Internet Coalition have opposed suggestions by telecom operators that Over The Top (OTT) service providers should be licensed and regulated.

The regulations come at a time when online video streaming companies such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, MX Player and SonyLiv have seen massive adoption around the country helped by cheap data plans and falling smartphone prices.

On the issue Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) opened consultations on a “Regulatory Framework for Over The Top Communications Services” discussion paper in November last year, asking whether a regulatory framework was required to govern such entities.

The paper is the second one since 2015 to address the relationship between OTTs and telecom companies. “Identifying Rich Interaction Applications (RIAs) as comparable to telecom services is highly reductionist and unjustified. “Moreover, digital applications are not available to those telecom subscribers who do not have access to the Internet,” AMAI said in its submission to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

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