Indian Government Comes Out in Support of Net Neutrality
The much heated issue of Net Neutrality now has the Centre’s support. The government hasn’t come out with a final verdict on the same, but is committed to keeping the Intenet open and evenly accessible to everyone. Standing up in support of free internet, Telecom and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a firm voice said that the practices of blocking and deliberately slowing down or speeding up of lawful content on web should not be allowed.
While responding to a discussion on Net Neutrality in Rajya Sabha, Prasad commented –
Government stands for ensuring non-discriminatory access to Internet for all citizens of the country. The government agrees with the viewpoint that blocking and deliberately slowing down/speeding up of lawful content on the Internet should not be allowed, and customers should have unrestricted access to all lawful content on the Internet.
Prasad stressed on the fact that the Government has all powers to direct Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on public policy. “However, TRAI’s powers to regulate tariff and quality of service are subject to overall public policy of the government and the government has sufficient powers under the Trai Act to invoke its national policy objectives to give directions to Trai,” stated Prasad.
He further mentioned that a detailed examination on topics like traffic management, national security, integrity of network and infrastructure investment is needed by experts on Net Neutrality.
It should be kept in mind that government hasn’t laid down the structured guidelines on net neutrality principles. Once the government frame rules for the content flow on web, telecom operators wouldn’t be able to adopt illegitimate pratices to earn more money.
A while back, TRAI’s consultation paper on its official website gathered millions of emails in support of Net Neutrality. From the comments of the Telecom minister, it seems like the final verdict would slay the Airtel Zero plan, once and for all.