Airtel's Net Neutrality Pledge Questioned By Coalition

20/04/2015 7:43 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
MONEY SHARMA via Getty Images
Activists of Indian Youth Congress and National Students Union of India shout anti-government slogans as they protest in support of net neutrality in New Delhi on April 16, 2015. India's largest e-commerce portal Flipkart on April 14 scrapped plans to offer free access to its app after getting caught up in a growing row over net neutrality, with the criticism of Flipkart feeding into a broader debate on whether Internet service providers should be allowed to favour one online service over another for commercial or other reasons -- a concept known as 'net neutrality'. AFP PHOTO / MONEY SHARMA (Photo credit should read MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images), a volunteer-run campaign fighting for net neutrality in India has written a response to Airtel’s letter sent to its customers and employees.

The response, published yesterday, questions Airtel’s commitment to net neutrality based on its past history. It points out that Airtel Zero, which employs differential pricing for content, with some sites costing zero is a violation of net neutrality. It also highlights instances where Airtel gave fast lane access to YouTube during IPL 2010, and how they had been throttling BitTorrent traffic in India for years.

It also quotes Tim-Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, who had explained how Net Neutrality is not just violated by blocking and throttling, but positive discrimination, such as when an ISP prefers one service over another.

“Airtel says that it will not block and not provide fast or slow lanes in the future, then there should be a mechanism holding it accountable to that pledge.” the coalition wrote. was launched on April 11th by a volunteer run group of over 50 net neutrality supporters, to frame a response to TRAI’s consultation paper on the regulation of OTT services. The campaign has sent over 900,000 emails, and is averaging over 100,000 mails every 24 hours.

Read’s full response here

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