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TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar calls for Democratic debate on Net Neutrality

, April 21, 2015, 1 Comments

TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar demands “More democratic and Cool headed reasoned arguments on both sides as need of the hour”.

netneutralityRaging debate both in favor and against of Net Neutrality is gripping the net surfers now a days. With Consumers calling for Neutrality and Businesses (Mobile Operators and Internet Companies) arguing as a way to expand Internet access in country, by not sticking to Neutrality, storm of “Internet Neutrality” refuse to settle down, at least for the time being.

Attempting to provide some breakthrough, TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar said ‘…More democratic and Cool headed reasoned arguments on both sides as need of the hour’. He also pointed out that ‘…Shrill voices do not win debate’.

When asked on whether India was in a position to align with the global net neutrality principles, he replied that “There are different practices in different jurisdictions. UK and parts of Europe do not practice strict net-neutrality. Even in US zero rating plans are permissible”.

He also pointed out that “Both sides have their argument. We have consultation process running. Let everybody’s comment come in place, then we will decide further course of action”. TRAI has already received over 800,000 petitions against any attempt to throttle the concept of net neutrality. The deadline for ‘Public comments’ on the issue expires on April 24.

How debate came in prominence

Though Net Neutrality concept and discussions existed from a very long period of time, what propelled it to become buzzword of talk shows and forums is the move, in last December, by Telecom Operator Bharti who offers service in the name of ‘Airtel’, to charge separately and differentially for internet-based phone calls. Company got panicked and withdrew offer hours after launching it.

The very same company triggered debate with another controversial offer when a Platform called “Airtel Zero” was offered to users where they not only get free access to whole host of selective companies websites (especially e-commerce) and mobile apps, but also pay more for other competing players and mobile apps.

Other such offerings

Facebook’s initiative in partnership with Reliance Communication is also under fire as such offerings will lead to distorted flow of information, even though internet major trying to convince people by saying “it aims to expand internet access in country”.

Not just debate

“Net Neutrality” debate also brought forward the loop holes which exist in telecom policy and its loose regulation as Indian consumers and its purchasing powers, behavior, spending habits, consumption of information, and many more things are next frontier for billions of rupees in profit which large corporates are looking for.

Image Credits: Fightforthefuture

  • PVRajeevS

    Shortage of spectrum slows down the internet. The public should ask government to release more spectrum to telecom operators.