1. Net Neutrality: TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar says ‘shrill voices’ won’t win debate

Net Neutrality: TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar says ‘shrill voices’ won’t win debate

As the uproar continues in favour of Net Neutrality, telecom watchdog TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar...

By: | New Delhi | Updated: April 19, 2015 3:33 PM
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“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,” Rahul Khullar said. (PTI)

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,” Rahul 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. Abhinav Ebenezer
    Apr 20, 2015 at 1:18 am
    This is what happens when the power to control telecom regulation is given to a person who is 60 above. Looks like he lost his mind. I don't understand the concept of India. Why do they hire old people who have lost their mind and their ability to judge instead of people with sharp brains? In their old age also they want to get commission and p something in which the youth of the nation does not favor. People like these should not get to control what youth needs and what is to be provided to the youth when the highest potion of the country is of the youth. It would just be like ing us off and starting rebellion if they think that the voices are shrill.
    Reply
    1. Jayasankar
      Apr 19, 2015 at 10:28 pm
      TRAI is trying to Defend Airtel and Face book. If TRAI gives verdict in favour of Telecom companies , then Consumers will go to SC . Govt must change the Head of TRAI if it gives adverse Judgement. no other way. Let us wait and see.
      Reply
      1. J
        joseph
        Apr 20, 2015 at 3:30 am
        I dont think india should be worried about net neutrailty right now. Instead they should consider using this opportunity to ask for speed and access. Right now india has very poor internet penetration and the speed of internet is one of the lowest in the world.
        Reply

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