Birds of a Feather - 90 Min
Technical & Operational Topics
Organizer 1: Sunil Bajpai, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
Organizer 2: Anaïs Le Gouguec, Arcep
Organizer 3: Hélène Bout, Arcep
Organizer 4: Vincent TOUBIANA, ARCEP
Speaker 1: Sunil Bajpai, Government, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Philippe Tousignant, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Anaïs Le Gouguec, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Amba Kak, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 5: Thomas Lohninger, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Sunil Bajpai is currently working as Principal Advisor at Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, looking after IT, Quality of Service and Consumer Affairs.
Besides working on policy recommendations for protecting net neutrality in India, he has recently helped develop regulations to control spam and fraud communications that leverage distributed ledger technologies.
He has over 30 years of experience in operations, maintenance, policy, research and leadership roles. In the field of IT, he has successfully handled major projects for Indian Railways over a period of 6 years.
He has a Masters in Design Engineering and an M Phil in Social Sciences and has published papers in a diverse set of areas ranging from mechanical engineering to development of new database tools.
The purpose of the workshop is to identify and qualify the elements that restrain the use of the Open Internet. TRAI, CRTC and Arcep are responsible for ensuring the implementation of Net neutrality Regulations respectively in India, Canada and France. Through the protection of an open Internet, these three authorities ensure the preservation of Internet as a common good and a resource for innovation. This workshop will be the first time ever they will share together with the public their common experience as enforcers of net neutrality regulations. While the work done with Internet service providers has moved forward in Canada, France and India, some issues such as zero rating remain highly debated over the world. Besides, going beyond net neutrality, other undertakings than ISPs appear to be impeding a non-discriminatory access to the Internet. Smartphones for instance have become our daily companions thanks to the enormous amount of innovation and services they provide. They have become the main devices by which we access the Internet and their characteristic influence greatly end-users online experience. Nevertheless, by getting into our pockets, access to Internet has become intrusive and restrictive. While some discriminating behaviors are legitimate due for instance to security reasons, other behaviors tend to impose unfair and illegitimate conditions to end users. The result is that end-users are quite often deprived of their freedom of choice and this trend may become bigger with voice assistants. Discussing these issues openly is a way to ensure that authorities move forward, and in the right direction.
On Net Neutrality, regulators from different countries have taken different positions and focused on number of aspects of neutrality. TRAI has focused on aspects of neutrality from perspective of access to internet and dealt with other aspects only to the extent that they are central to net neutrality. The CRTC’s frameworks were established to ensure that net neutrality principles are upheld in the vast majority of cases; this supports the CRTC’s view that investment in networks should be the primary tool to deal with network congestion, as opposed to favouring certain types of traffic or applications. As such, the CRTC will present its frameworks and discuss the ways in which they have removed barriers for all internet users. While enforcement of net neutrality can be assessed positively in France, ARCEP has focused on other aspects of neutrality as well like role of device, Operating Systems, Browsers, App providers, App store in restricting the choices of user to access Internet. Thomas Lohninger, as a representative of civil society and Amba Kak, as a researcher will both enrich the debate with their extensive analysis of the assessment of zero rating by authorities. Amba Kak has also conducted the analysis of Arcep proposals on device neutrality. She will provide her evaluation of those. The intent is to rope in speakers from regulatory bodies and civil society who can present various restrictions that can technically or artificially hamper users’ freedom to choose their content and applications and result in less internet openness. A grid of analysis can therefore be submitted for discussion. The speakers will introduce a series of proposals for guaranteeing an open internet, and giving users back their freedom of choice.
The workshop could start with a brief description of the concept behind the Open Internet and what it implies in terms of consumer protection and innovation without permission. The moderator would then open the discussion and ask participants if they identify other barriers set by intermediaries (ISPs, Devices, OSs, Services providers,…). Then, confirmed participants could present, for 5 minutes each, the barriers they have identified, moving from the network to the services: • TRAI and CRTC for the core Net Neutrality issues and the treatment of zero rating, • ARCEP for the devices neutrality proposals, • Amba Kak (Mozilla Foundation) and Thomas Lhoninger will provide their analysis of the actions conducted on the three continents and the proposals brought forward to ensure freedom of choice for end users. During the remaining hour, participants and the audience could then identify additional issues and discuss the remedies that they see as appropriate to address the identified challenges.
Reference Document: https://www.arcep.fr/uploads/tx_gspublication/rapport-terminaux-fev2018-ENG.pdf
-Brief Introduction of the WS moderator (1')
Part 1: Current approaches on net Neutrality (45') Quick introduction by the moderator (2') Interventions by the 5 speakers (4' each) Discussion with the room (20') Conclusion & transition (2')
Part 2: Beyond Net Neutrality - The way ahead (45') Quick introduction by the moderator (2') Interventions by the 5 speakers (4' each) Discussion with the room (20') Conclusion and wrap-up (2')