In a response to the Department of Telecommunications paper on net neutrality, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has opposed the support of zero-rate plans of any type. In their statement, the IAMAI said, "IAMAI does not support any plans that violate the principles of net neutrality, especially, paid or unpaid prioritisation or other discriminatory practices. These plans will ultimately harm Internet content and service providers by limiting competition among them, and, by extension, limit consumers’ choice. Such plans will allow the operators, if given control of which apps/services to push to consumers, to discriminate and privilege certain web services over others, and throttle innovation. This will tantamount to illegitimate network management techniques and discrimination that will lead to fragmentation of the Internet."
This statement is also the complete oposite of the stand that they had suggested during its Auguts 9 draft of its response. This opposition comes at an interesting time as MediaNama recently leaked an email correspondence between Google and IAMAI. According to those emails, Google was allegedly opposing net neutrality in India.
The zero-data plans have been center of debate after Google first came up with its zero-data plan and were then followed by Airtel Zero. However, Airtel had to face a huge backlash from public, even forcing Google to back out of its initiative. Now that the IAMAI has joined the anti-zero rating bandwagon, it will be interesting to see the direction that the net neutrality debate takes.
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