Shortly after furor over Airtel's alleged anti net neutrality Airtel Zero initiative, the Indian government has confirmed a committee in Department of Telecommunications is looking into net neutrality. The announcement was made by telecom minister Dr. Ravi Shankar Prasad on Twitter.
“#Internet is one of the finest creations of human mind. It belongs to enitre humanity and not to a few. #NetNeutrality,” says the minister in a tweet.
Development comes amid ongoing debate over net neutrality in the country. It is worth pointing out here that Net Neutrality is already a big issue in the US. However, the Indian telecom operators have been critical of the net neutrality. Airtel, one of the largest telecom operators, recently announced (later pulled) charging additional for VoIP calls – a move considered to have breached net neutrality.
A recent report revealed a telecom department (DoT) panel is working on a policy for the net neutrality in India. The panel is responsible for examining net neutrality from a public policy perspective.
A new round of controversy kicked off when Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart reportedly joined the Airtel's Zero platform, which allows users to access certain services and apps for free.
Using this service, the user will be allowed to access select content within certain apps without any data charges. The platform appears to give an advantage to apps and companies that can spend money.