The DoT panel on net neutrality is said to be in favor of Airtel Zero, sources reveal. Facebook’s internet.org is opposed for the reason that it gives preference to certain websites without mobile charges, which means that Facebook acts as a gate keeper who decides which website to be visited by the viewer. This principle goes against the principles of net neutrality. In May 2015, however, Facebook opened the platform to few more websites which meet certain criteria.
Zero-rating panels such as Airtel Zero will be allowed, but with prior clearance from TRAI, said the sources. This is on the notion that TRAI can resort to action against the provider, in case zero-rating platform violates net neutrality.
The panel also stated that “collaborations between telecom operators and content providers that enable such gate-keeping role to be played by any entity should be actively discouraged”.
Facebook has responded to the new development to a national newspaper that it cannot comment on the issue without knowing the DoT panel findings.
Net neutrality demands an equal treatment to all internet traffic without any favor given to any company or telecom service providers. The net neutrality became a topic of discussion when Airtel launched Zero, a zero-rated platform which provides free access to few websites on its network.