Airtel Zero Does Not Violate Net Neutrality : DoT

dot-net-neutrality-airtel-zeroThe much debated and controversial Airtel Zero plan has been okayed by a panel comprising of members of the department of telecommunications (DoT) and the panel said the plan does not violate the principles of net neutrality, a PTI report carried in various media suggested.

The DoT panel, however, as per the media reports, disapproved another such controversial initiative, a plan by Facebook to connect over 5 billion people to the internet.

The DoT panel report is not yet public and it has not yet been made official. PTI cites the information to its sources who did not like to be named.

On Airtel Zero, though the panel has approved it, it suggested such plans should get prior approval from sector regulator TRAI before being rolled out.

In a series of posts TeleAnalysis has justified Airtel Zero does not violate net neutrality.

“The committee after consideration of all opinions expressed by net neutrality proponents and network operators felt that there are multitude possibilities in designing tariff plans and everything cannot be validated in advance on parameters of net neutrality,” the panel said according to PTI sources.

On net neutrality the panel said, “collaborations between telecom operators and content providers that enable such gate-keeping role to be played by any entity should be actively discouraged.”

In April this year Airtel launched a plan where consumers do not have to pay for the data charges to access the services offered by the companies who subscribe to the Airtel Zero plan. That essentially meant the data charges will be born by the Airtel Zero plan subscribers.

Similarly, Facebook had also launched a plan, in collaboration with Reliance Communications in India, to offer acess to some services if they subscribe to the operator’s plans. This initiative was also seen as violation of net neutrality though both Airtel and Facebook both have vehemently justified their individual stands.



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