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Net Neutrality: Nasscom opposes differential pricing for data services

Nasscom reiterated its position that any tariff plan should not restrict right for the consumer to choose

By: Tech Desk | January 4, 2016 3:39:42 pm
Nasscom, Net neutrality, Facebook, Free Basics, data services, differential pricing, Save the Internet, tech news, Nikhil Pahwa, tech news, technology Nasscom reiterated its position that any tariff plan should not restrict right for the consumer to choose

Nasscom has shared its perspectives on issues related to differential pricing for data services in a statement today. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) states that the matter needs to be considered carefully to study the possible impact on the principles of Net Neutrality.

Nasscom reiterated its position that any tariff plan should not restrict right for the consumer to choose. It also added that data services should allow innovation without permission and should have no differential data charges for different apps.

“Differential pricing should not become a tool that facilitates market dominance or enables anti-competitive behavior by either TSP or platform provider. It should not offer direct or indirect commercial benefit including leveraging the value of customer data generated in the process. Further it should not offer lower prices for own or partner content/ service. Instead of differential pricing for select data services for wide access, transparent business models should be adopted without segmenting the internet or skewing competition,” said Sanjiv Bikhchandani, Chairman, NASSCOM Internet Council.

“We reiterate our firm commitment to Net Neutrality that guarantees users rights to unfettered choice of content and to the creation of a conducive environment for continuous innovation. We strongly oppose any model where TSPs or their partners have a say or discretion in choosing content that is made available at favourable rates, speed etc. We recognize that in India there is an obvious need for collective, concerted and focused efforts to enable relevant content, services or access and to overcome the digital divide,” said R. Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM.

India’s demographic presently has very low broadband and internet penetration. Also India is characterised by low levels of digital literacy and limited availability of local language support with less than 10 percent of English speaking population, there is need for continuous innovation in both technology solutions and business models.

Nasscom has put together its recommendations after consulting with various stakeholders in addition to its members and mobile app developers including Facebook as well as Save the Internet to create a balanced viewpoint.

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