Telecom Ministry has found that Airtel Zero and RCom-Facebook’s internet.org plans go against the principles of net neutrality in its preliminary investigation, according to reports. However, no final decision is taken on this. Any future course of actions will be taken only after the expert committee of ministry submits its recommendations.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is also scrutinizing the matter on another side. The regulator’s decision on net neutrality will take some time due to its chairman Rahul Khullar’s retirement happened earlier this month. The new chairman will certainly take some time to have a detailed study and analysis of the issue.
Telecom operators are of opinion that plans like Airtel Zero and internet.org will benefit people of insufficient access of internet. They came up with the argument that such plans do not go against net neutrality, despite of the fact that they provide preferential treatments to selected websites.
Chances are high for the Ministry to adopt a solution considering both telecom operators and OTT players like Whatsapp, Viber, Skype etc, and to bring them under common regulations that can make them in par with one another.
Meanwhile, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had already announced that the Government will stand for non-discriminatory access to internet. The Government will consider the stances taken by other nations like Europe and US in case of net neutrality before finalizing the regulations. Also, TRAI will be the highest authority for any decisions regarding tariffs.