Government Report on Net Neutrality Policy by May

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Representational image.


New Delhi: 

Over three lakh people have already written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) through savetheinternet.in to make a case for net neutrality, and ensure that all users can access all sites at the same cost and at the same speed.

The Government said on Monday that it has already set up a high-level committee of six members to go into issues of net neutrality, both in terms of technicalities and policy issues. The committee is expected to submit its report in the second week of May.

Union Minister for IT and Telecom Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government wants to strive for non-discriminatory net availability, saying, "Internet is one of the finest creations of the human mind and to become truly global it must have integral connections to the local. I salute Indians who have done such a great work in expansion of net its creativity and its reach. I deeply appreciate and value the way internet has served the cause of Indian intellect and Indian enterprise."

The high level committee set up by the ministry on net neutrality is independent of a consultation paper put out by TRAI. It has also asked for suggestions and objections, and it's this report that has got many starting 'save the internet' campaigns on social media.

The public suggestions asked for by TRAI came around the same time telecom giant Airtel launched Airtel Zero, a zero rating service which preferentially makes available apps whose makers have paid Airtel.

Though Airtel has argued that this service has got nothing to do with net neutrality, many argue that it doesn't make it a level playing field for other smaller ventures.

Over 1.6 lakh people have signed a petition in support of net neutrality on Change.org. Ishan Sharma from Net Neutrality Group says, "We had 6 lakh visits on savetheinternet.in. #savetheinternet was trending on Twitter on Saturday and Sunday."

Separately, Reddit has an appeal and four types of letters for citizens to send to the MPs by snailmail.

The government won't take a stand till it can go through both the reports and the firms at the centre of the controversy. And even as the companies at the centre of the controversy continue to insist that they are violating net neutrality, support continues to snowball against any possible infringements.
 

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