Supporting net neutrality, prominent players Cleartrip, TOI and NDTV to exit Internet.org

docomo-vs-relianceWith the rising debate on Net neutrality, internet.org, a zero-rated internet accessibility service from Facebook and Reliance is losing its supporters. Internet.org, which is currently available to Reliance Communication customers was offering free access to 37 services including prominent online players like Cleartrip, NDTV and Times Group.

Today, the leading online travel agency Cleartrip withdrew its participation stating that it stands up for Net Neutrality. Soon after, Times Group came up with its announcement to withdraw from internet.org, if its direct competitors like India Today, NDTV, IBNLive, NewsHunt, and BBC pulls out from the platform. NDTV Head Prannoy Roy tweeted that ‘NDTV is committed to net neutrality and is therefore exiting, and will not be a part of Facebook’s Internet.org’.

Elucidating its participation in internet.org, Cleartrip said that it joined internet.org with an intention of serving the ‘underserved’ parts of the country. The company also revealed that there was no revenue arrangement between them. “There was no revenue arrangement between us and Internet.org or any of its participants — we were neither paid anything, nor did we pay anything to participate. Additionally we don’t make any money out of that product. Since there was absolutely zero money changing hands, we genuinely believed we were contributing to a social cause”, according to Cleartrip.

Commenting on the ongoing debate about net neutrality, Cleartrip Chief Marketing Officer Subramanya Sharma said, “The recent debate around net neutrality gave us pause to rethink our approach to Internet.org and the idea of large corporations getting involved with picking and choosing who gets access to what and how fast.”

“We believe that the Internet is a great leveler and that freedom of the Internet is critical for innovation. Cleartrip is and always will be a fully committed supporter of Net neutrality,” he added.

Along with plans to withdraw from internet.org platform, Times Group encouraged its fellow publishers to support the campaign for net neutrality and called to withdraw from zero rated schemes. “We support net neutrality because it creates a fair, level playing field for all companies – big and small – to produce the best service and offer it to consumers. We will lead the drive towards a neutral internet, but we need our fellow publishers and content providers to do so as well, so that the playing field continues to be level,” said a Times official.

He also said that the telecom regulator TRAI and Government must unconditionally support net neutrality.

Earlier, a few telecom service providers, Airtel, Vodafone and Telenor had opined against internet.org during the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona. Today, Mark Zuckerberg supported internet.org programme, saying it never goes against the concept of net neutrality. With major players like Cleartrip, Times Group and NDTV opting out of internet.org and Flipkart pulling out of Airtel Zero, India’s movement for net neutrality gains a new strength.

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18 Comments on "Supporting net neutrality, prominent players Cleartrip, TOI and NDTV to exit Internet.org"

 

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Sunny
April 16, 2015 8:47 am 8:47 AM
Neutrality should not be there only in Internet. Neutrality should be introduced in Voice Services also. TRAI should initiate steps to introduce voice neutrality in Indian Telecom Industry. * Special Tariff Vouchers should be withdrawn. * A Single voice tariff should be implemented in India. * Local and STD differentiation should be abolished. * One India One Rate should be implemented. * National Mobile Number Portability should be implemented in India from May 3,2015 as published earlier. * Roaming Plans should be abolished making India a Roam Free Country. * Data Packs should be introduced in various denominations having standard… Read more »
Reena Subair
April 17, 2015 2:15 am 2:15 AM

BASELESS WHY YOU ARE DIVERTING TOPIC. PURELY NON SENSE AND OFF TOPIC. ITS CLEAR THIS GUY DOESNOT KNOW WHAT INTERNET IS AND MAY BE LOCKED IN HIS ROOM FOR YEARS.

JAYANTHI RAMRALU
April 16, 2015 1:05 pm 1:05 PM

you ar paid by reliamce from your views its clear stop fooling people . first there is no need of reliance in india. if you stop network nothing happens that fact you also know. here we arw discussing NN so stop diverting thoughts by baseless things. internet is nobodies private property and nobody can’t divide it. underany circumstances we will continue resistance and fight. we people will win. already send 300+ mails to trai.

Sunny
April 16, 2015 2:11 pm 2:11 PM

Fool. First read the comments fully before posting reply. I am also talking about Neutrality only. Neutrality in everything. Neutrality in voice as well as data. First understand this.

Subam Kolay
April 16, 2015 7:20 am 7:20 AM

WOW! from the very first day i’m against fraud R.com & their looting policies! 😀 Now this news really sounds nice!

KAPIL K DEV
April 16, 2015 7:18 am 7:18 AM

Please visit savetheinternet(dot)in/ and send an E:mail to TRAI for net neutrality.

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