Net Neutrality not practiced strictly even in US, shrill voices won’t win: TRAI boss

TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar today said "shrill voices" will not win the Net Neutrality debate in India and the concept is not "practiced strictly" even in countries like the US.

By: PTI | Updated: April 20, 2015 8:24 am
Net Neutrality, Net Neutrality in India, TRAI chief says shrill voices won’t be allowed to win the Net Neutrality debate.

As the uproar continues in favour of Net Neutrality, telecom watchdog TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar today said “shrill voices” will not win the debate and the concept is not “practiced strictly” even in countries like the US and the UK.

The principle of Net Neutrality calls for equal treatment to be accorded to all Internet traffic, without discrimination or priority for any person, entity or company.

While Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has floated a discussion paper on this topic, a raging debate has broken out in the country following the launch of platforms like Airtel Zero and internet.org.

“There has to be democratic debate. It’s a debate that is waiting to happen. Shrill voices do not win debate. Cool headed reasoned arguments on both sides are need of the hour,” Khullar told PTI in an interview.

“There are different practices in different jurisdictions. UK and parts of Europe do not practice strict net-neutrality. Even in US zero rating plans are permissible,” he said, while replying to a question on whether India was in a position to align with the global net-neutrality principles.

In response to its paper, for which public comments have been sought till April 24, TRAI has already been flooded with over 8 lakh petitions against any attempt to throttle ‘net neutrality’ concept.

“Both sides have their argument. We have consultation process running. Let everybody’s comment come in place, then we will decide further course of action,” Khullar said.

The debate had begun after telecom major Airtel decided to charge separately for Internet-based phone calls in December, which it had to later withdraw.

Earlier this month, the company launched ‘Airtel Zero’ platform, which flared up the entire debate on Net Neutrality, also engulfing Facebook’s internet.org initiative that has Reliance Communications as a partner in India.

Both Facebook and Airtel claim that their platforms do not violate the Net Neutrality principle and they are actually aimed at expanding Internet access in India.

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  1. A
    akshay lawange
    Apr 19, 2015 at 6:42 pm
    Net neutrality and universalisation of internet are two different things. -Airtel Zero and Facebook's Internet Commercial profit will pave the way for universalisation .With improved access will come improved growth. World bank's data shows that with every 1% growth in penetration of internet there is half decadal growth in gross domestic product. They are one and the same. -Netizens The consultation process must be carried forward as said by TRAI which can pave the way for viable business models leading to improved penetration.
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    1. D
      Diplomat
      Apr 20, 2015 at 1:04 pm
      Is it a threat?
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      1. Dhwaraswamy Somasekharan
        Apr 20, 2015 at 1:00 pm
        You -h ....., everybody knows, that TRAI is adamant on this billing proposal for net users, as they very know, that the present and the future generation of potion is all likely to have a smartphone with net connection, so the volume of bounty pouring into TRAI a/c is mive !!
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        1. Shekhar Lamba
          Apr 20, 2015 at 11:28 am
          Are we heading for another telecom scam...... what does Rahul Khullar mean by saying “shrill voices” will not win the debate and the concept is not “practiced strictly” even in countries like the US and the UK. .... are we copying the US and UK
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          1. C
            chahat thakkar
            Apr 20, 2015 at 8:51 am
            Expansion of internet Services is a must and need of the hour for India. Internet and Zero rated apps are required for accessing internet by those who can not afford internet data plans or do not need plan because of limited Internet usage literacy in India. I wonder why the w internet world has gone GAGA over the neutrality concept. This free internet is for those who do not access internet. Why does it gives you a stomach bug if they would access some free websites / apps. Nevertheless they would not be the surfers / customers of the newly launched startups for which everyone has tears and is slamming TRAI using Net Neutrality blockades. Please let the plan come up and if it has anything against CONSUMER RIGHTS, then go and protest.
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