back to article Facebook-squishing Indian regulator's next move: Open source code

Fresh from squashing Facebook's effort to grab the enormous India market, the sub-continent's regulator has another goal in mind: open source software. Speaking at the India Digital Summit this week, chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Ram Sewak Sharma, told attendees: "No service can be hostage to a …

  1. Graham Marsden
    Go

    "Any technology that is deployed for connectivity...

    "...must be interoperable and the open standards framework and the principles it entails are extremely important,"

    India has an incredible opportunity as an emerging market to avoid the mistakes which have come about elsewhere because of the piecemeal way the internet has grown up, provided they make sure that the big vested interests don't get their greedy hands on it and control it for their profits instead of for the benefit of the Indian people.

    ADDENDUM: Oh and, PS: I have *no* objection to businesses making profits, the problem comes when the profits and dividends and bonuses are *all* they care about and screw the people they're trying to serve.

    1. channel extended
      Devil

      Re: "Any technology that is deployed for connectivity...

      So Comcast won't be expanding to India soon. Maybe EE can help.

    2. Preston Munchensonton

      Re: "Any technology that is deployed for connectivity...

      India has an incredible opportunity as an emerging market to avoid the mistakes which have come about elsewhere because of the piecemeal way the internet has grown up

      Personally, I hope they don't skip the valuable opportunity that comes from learning from mistakes. Or rather, I hope that they learn not to repeat mistakes that they inevitably will make.

      I have *no* objection to businesses making profits, the problem comes when the profits and dividends and bonuses are *all* they care about and screw the people they're trying to serve.

      If a supplier really is attempting to serve their customers, they can't simply "screw" them and stay in business. Unless they have politicians in their back pockets. Hence my intense love of capitalism and redhot hatred of crony capitalism. So long as individuals are free to make their own choices, there's no issue. It's when market forces are subject to distortions from regulation that problems are introduced.

      P.S. I recognize none of that diatribe as my own, as I'm merely restating Smith, Ricardo, Hayek, Friedman, etc.

      1. Ole Juul

        Re: "Any technology that is deployed for connectivity...

        "If a supplier really is attempting to serve their customers, they can't simply "screw" them and stay in business. Unless they have politicians in their back pockets. "

        Well they do and they can. Hence the interest in avoiding or minimizing that problem.

      2. Gordon 10 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: "Any technology that is deployed for connectivity...

        Economics fail Preston. Politicians function for both good and evil in the market and the good stuff needs to be factored in to.

        Left to its own devices the " market" has proved very poor at pricing in externalities (eg pollution, worker and customer safety) and preventing/policing natural monopolies.

        Occasionally Governments come in very handy to remind the "free market" of those things.

        1. tom dial Silver badge

          Re: "Any technology that is deployed for connectivity...

          The market may be poor at pricing externalities because they are not, for the most part, included in individual utility calculations. It is not always obvious that governments do all that well either.

        2. Preston Munchensonton
          FAIL

          Re: "Any technology that is deployed for connectivity...

          Economics fail Preston. Politicians function for both good and evil in the market and the good stuff needs to be factored in to.

          So, that's one vote for crony capitalism. Thanks for playing.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Any technology that is deployed for connectivity...

      Why do you feel the need to apologises? This isn't a US forum, so there's no need to toe the neo-liberal line.

      Rent seeking behaviour is parasitic on society and needs to be strongly discouraged. By death.

      Not allowing a propriatory technology debt to build up like a tumour is a fantastic use of government.

    4. LDS Silver badge

      Open standards != open source

      Open standards and open source are two hortogonal concepts. You may easily have one without the other. Open standards - and interoperability standards, are far more important then open source. Open source won't make standards appear magically, nor will enforce them. The fact you can more easily reverse engineer an API on protocol won't make it much more standard if not because of goodwill.

      When you set and are able to enforce standards, than supplier will have no choice but comply - regardless of their source code model - and you will be able to pick up the one who suits you best.

      Try to enforce a political view of code, and you may be left with byside products of other economical intererests. Sure, Facebook may open source its internet for the poor network - as long as you stay into that and send all your data to Zuck, why not?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Open standards != open source

        From the article; "Sharma said "But India has adopted an open source policy and open API policy."

        So, no it's not just about open standards.

        Interestingly, this is at least the third story I've read this week about various governments wanting to move to "open" systems and away from closed systems such as MS. Maybe the MS Win10 phone home telemetry is the final straw?

        1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: Open standards != open source

          @John Brown - no body - I was wondering the same about Winbloat, OS X, or iOS. All are proprietary products. Linux, BSD, and Android are open source. Logical consistency would demand that Slurp make Winbloat open source or leave India. Open sourcing OS X or iOS would probably be less of a problem for Apple. India has the potential of being a huge market.

  2. Fraggle850

    Go India!

    Learn from our mistakes and show us how it should be done.

    Assuming they can make this work and provide a service that becomes accessible to the poorest they could come up with a model for other less developed nations to adopt.

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