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Government policy set to kill small and medium ISPs

Submitted by Karthik on 28 August, 2007 - 21:27

The Indian government's new ISP policy has done away with category C licenses for ISPs, according to the Times of India, because they are a burden to the regulator, pose a potential national security threat, and are a risk to consumers.

Internet Service Providers Association of India points out that no ISP A, B or C category player has ever been convicted for any security related misdemeanors. “Given the size of their operations and ownership profiles, it is perhaps most difficult for C category players to escape detection if they even dared to try,” it says.

As it turns out, the only companies that have been accused of breaching national security or related norms such as verification of consumers, etc are big ILDOs and mobile operators. There is hardly any evidence of ISP’s engaging in or being prosecuted for such activities.

Further, with Trai leaving ISP tariffs to market forces for close to 10 years, small players hardly contribute to any additional regulatory effort.

ISPAI says the policy hurts small entrepreneurs and consumers who have risked considerable resources to create and nurture businesses in the face of aggressive competition from bigger players.