COAI Said Demand Of Telecom Operators For A Reasonable ‘Usage Fee’ From OTT Players

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Firing a fresh bombardment in the profit share debate, assiduity body COAI on Monday said the demand of telecom drivers for a reasonable operation figure from OTT communication service providers towards network use is “fair and rational”, and would drive the digital structure while contributing to the frugality. Just days after Internet and Mobile Association of India’s (IAMAI) assertions that demand for ‘profit share’ was an underhanded attempt to violate net  impartiality, COAI returned fire saying it’s” misleading” to state that Net Neutrality principles will be violated.

“Certain realities with vested interests are misdirecting the issue of the need for a nonsupervisory frame for the communication OTTs and the need of  operation charge to be paid by OTTs to the TSPs, by bringing in the aspect of Net Neutrality in a deceiving manner, to make it a populist issue,” SP Kochhar, Director General of COAI, said in a statement, without naming IAMAI. In its statement, COAI also  stressed the European Commission’s recent commitment in the Digital Decade Declaration to develop acceptable fabrics that all request players serving from the digital metamorphosis make a fair and  commensurate donation to the costs of public goods, services and architectures.

The verbal fight between two assiduity bodies started after it was reported that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is trying to work out some form of a profit-sharing medium between social media  interposers including WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, along with OTT players Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Hotstar and the TSPs. The COAI in November also called for levying an ‘operation duty’ for the business carried by the OTT players on telecom networks. 

The body said that the  profit collected by TSPs from the OTTs will help them roll out and expand networks to meet the structure conditions for OTT services. OTT platforms take a “free lift” on telcos’ funded networks without contributing to the setting up, operating and conservation costs either directly or laterally or for the expansion of networks, COAI said.