05/05/2015 4:19 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Government Supports Non-Discriminatory Access To Internet: Ravi Shankar Prasad

World Economic Forum/Flickr
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of India at the World Economic Forum - India Economic Summit 2014 in New Delhi, Copyright by World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell

NEW DELHI — Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Tuesday that the government stands for ensuring "non-discriminatory" access to Internet.

"Government stands for ensuring non-discriminatory access to Internet for all citizens of the country," Prasad said in the Rajya Sabha, as a calling attention motion was taken up on net neutrality.

"Current debate on net neutrality should be seen from this perspective... while resolving the issue harmoniously and consistently with constitutional principles," he said.

The minister added that a final decision on net neutrality will be taken by the government.

"Whatever be the outcome of the consultation paper (of TRAI) the decision will be taken by government," he informed the Rajya Sabha.

In March, telecom regulator TRAI released a paper inviting comments from users and companies on how over-the-top services should be regulated in the country. It asked stakeholders to send suggestions by April 24 and counter-arguments by May 8.

A six-member panel of the department of telecommunications (DoT) is also conducting a study on the issue and is likely to submit its report by mid-May.

The minister added: "Internet is one of the finest creations of human mind, it must belong to mankind, not to few".

Net neutrality means that governments and Internet service providers should treat all data on the Internet equally - therefore, not charging users, content, platform, site, application or mode of communication differentially.

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