India’s Net Neutrality

It’s a crucial time for net neutrality in India. The Indian telecom regulator, Trai, has published a consultation paper for framing regulations on ‘over-the-top’ (OTT) services or simply, value added third party internet-based.

The debate on network neutrality in India started after Airtel, a mobile telephony service provider in India, announced in December 2014 to charge additional rates for making voice calls (VoIP) from its network using apps like WhatsApp, Skype, etc.

Over the weekend, the terms “Net Neutrality” were trending highly on the social network, thereby, making it clear how important it is for us to pay heed to the repercussions it could have on our daily life. To spread awareness about the adverse effects of Net Neutrality, team AIB is back again after getting embroiled in the ‘Roast’ controversy a few months back.

Indian online retailer Flipkart has abandoned a plan to give customers of mobile operator Bharti Airtel free access to its mobile app after criticism that the move posed a threat to net neutrality.

Earlier this month, Airtel launched a marketing platform, Airtel Zero, that allows app developers to pay for their customers to access their services without data charges. The move was, however, criticized by activists as a threat to net neutrality in the country, putting Internet startups and smaller players that can’t afford the fees at a disadvantage.

Many Bollywood celebrities have come out in support of Net Neutrality in India. While the AIB team posted a video titled ‘Save The Internet’ on their official handles, many celebrities came out on Twitter to pledge support for the cause.

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