Fair trade watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) has appealed to the telecom regulator (TRAI) of India to take a stand on the issue of Net Neutrality. CCI chairman Ashok Chawla pointed it out that it is a policy issue and that before resolution the regulator should have a stance on it.
The CCI chairman also confirmed that the body was ready to take up the matter if it came to them. "It has not come to us. We will see when it comes. This is a policy issue. The regulator (TRAI) has to decide first. Based on whatever happens in terms of behaviour as in conformity and not in conformity of policy we will see and in any case if they are going to interact with us they are welcome," CCI chairman Ashok Chawla is quoted as saying. The comments come amid wide debate and discussions on the issue of Net Neutrality in the country.
Net Neutrality had taken centre stage in the country after Airtel launched its Zero Rating programme. The programme, believed to be against Net Neutrality, met with wide criticism. Flipkart, which was supposed to be a major partner, abandoned the initiative after backlash from its users. Airtel, however, repeatedly claimed that it supported Net Neutrality and that its Zero Rating was not against the concept. TRAI had received millions of emails from users across the country in support of Net Neutrality. Telecom companies and bodies, on the other hand, have sought an amicable solution to the issue. Recently, they launched a new initiative called Net Equality where it aimed to get feedback of voice customers on the issue.
Facebook's Internet.org had also come under scanner after several Internet companies departed from the platform citing Net Neutrality. Facebook, however, claimed that its platform was not against net neutrality. Facebook's Internet.org gives free access to select websites on a particular network (In India, it's Reliance). For more on Net Neutrality, read our analysis - Why Net Equality is more important than Net Neutrality