IMAI supports Net Neutrality and opposes zero-rating plans

Net Neutrality - The TeCake

Opposing the draft report by DoT panel and supporting the hot debatable topic Net Neutrality, Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) commented that plans like Airtel Zero rating will harm online content and allows telcos to regulate several web services over other.

IMAI has submitted a report to the DoT panel on net neutrality, last week. The report clearly states that any type of zero rating plans shouldn’t be deployed in welfare of Indian Internet users. Thursday was decided to be the deadline to submit comments on DoT report.

The government had provided a discussion forum at the website, allowing people to express and share their views on Net Neutrality. Revealing the deadline, it has states, “Through this forum of My Gov, we invite valuable comments and suggestions on the report and recommendations before 20th August, 2015, 5.00PM.”

Indian citizens are also well concerned about the fact that allowing the zero-rated plans will harm the Internet. A user Karthickumar K says regarding the Airtel’s Zero Rating Plan, “Please Don’t allow Zero Rating Ever!.”

“Zero rating allows large companies to act as gatekeepers of the Internet, and control which services Indians can access, must be prohibited. The DoT draft recommendations are too weak on this, and the Govt must take a strong stand to protect users.” As of now, the forum has received more than 73K supporting comments. However, the figures are on counting as people are still showing their aggression towards the draft report.

A commenter, Shreyus said, “I support net neutrality in its true sense and not the diluted version of net neutrality which supports telecom companies. all VoIP services should remain free and internet should continue to mean everything available for everyone.”

The regulations will be firmed up after considering the people’s opinion and the regulator TRAI’s suggestions.

“These plans will ultimately harm internet content and service providers by limiting competition among them, and, by extension, limit consumer choice,” it said.

Such plans will also “allow the operators, if given control of which apps or services to push to consumers, to discriminate and privilege certain web services over others, and throttle innovation”.

In addition, IMAI has also opposed the suggestion of licensing the domestic and national VoIP (voice over Internet), as suggested by the DoT paper. It concluded that the regulations over the VoIP is strictly against to the consumer’s interests and will resist future innovations.

The association ambiguously reiterated that it will never support any proposals that violate the Net Neutrality “especially paid or unpaid prioritisation or other discriminatory practices.” It has further cautioned that traffic management is a technical right that is with the telcos and it shouldn’t be misused by charging the users differentially for different data protocols.

An active and popular comedian group. AIB (All India Bakchod) has also released an urging video, which shows that how much critical the issue is. It also asks the viewers to register and share their comments at the respective website. In addition, AIB also explains how the telcos and officials are treating the Net Neutrality.

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