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Misinformation distorting debate, we are committed to Net Neutrality: Airtel

The clarification comes days after sustained protests online forced e-commerce major Flipkart to pull out of Airtel Zero.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
Updated: April 19, 2015 8:36:34 am
TRAi, Telecom ministry, net neutrality, Bharti Airtel, Save the Internet Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said telecom sector regulator Trai is holding wide consultations on net neutrality.

As the furore over net neutrality continued, Airtel said its zero rating venture was in the spirit of free internet and did not promote discriminatory access.

Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal in a “clear the air” email to employers said that there was a media campaign that incorrectly portrayed Airtel Zero as a platform that violated net neutrality and that the organisation was fully committed to “ensure the goals of the Prime Minister’s vision of digital India…”

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“We have been very concerned at the incorrect information that has been carried by some quarters in the media as well as in social media,” read Vittal’s mail, contending that Airtel Zero simply takes “the same concept of toll free voice to the world of data.”

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This, he said, would help millions of Indians join the digital revolution. He also said that there were no plans to offer differential speeds or access. “As a company we do not ever block or provide any differential speeds to any website.”

We have never done it and will never do it,” he said.  The clarification comes days after sustained protests online forced e-commerce major Flipkart to pull out of Airtel Zero. Meanwhile, travel portal MakeMyTrip said it would not be a part of marketing platforms that contravened net neutrality, while Amazon’s Indian arm also said it supported “open internet.”

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