DoT Forms Committee To Look Into Net Neutrality Issue

13/04/2015 4:47 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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On Jan. 29, 2015 outside the FCC, Free Press organized a a historic battle between two contenders who symbolized the fight over the fate of the Internet. On one side was Net Neutral-i-kitty, representing the millions of Internet users who had spoken out for Net Neutrality over the past year. On the other side was Cable Boss, hailing from the self-serving nation of Comcast.

A Department of Telecommunications panel will be coming out with a report on net neutrality in the second week of May, The Economic Times reported.

Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said a six member committee will make a comprehensive decision independent of TRAI, an unprecedented move due to the gravity of the matter. "We constituted a committee. We feel that Internet is the creation of human mind. Internet should have linkages to the common man in a non-discriminatory manner," Prasad is quoted as saying.

Prasad previously backed the principle of net neutrality on Twitter, calling it one of the finest creations of mankind.

The net neutrality debate has been in the news since TRAI floated a consultation paper to discuss a regulatory framework for OTT (over the top) services like WhatsApp, Viber, and Skype.

The launch of of Airtel Zero, which allows internet companies to pay for the data charges incurred by the customer, acted as a lightning rod, though the company characterises the service as the equivalent of toll-free voice calling.

A volunteer run SaveTheInternet campaign went viral over the weekend, with the release of All India Bakchod's video, which has seen over a million views so far. Over a lakh email responses have been sent to TRAI on the consultation paper, which has a deadline of April 24.

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