Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar defends net neutrality amidst telco push for OTT charges

In a social media post, Chandrasekhar emphasized on the critical role net neutrality played in fostering a globally competitive startup ecosystem in India.

By  Storyboard18Sep 29, 2023 5:37 PM
Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar defends net neutrality amidst telco push for OTT charges
“Net Neutrality in India was a hard fought battle for those who remember - which started during UPA government and peaked in 2015/2016. I led an effort where over 5 lac Indians wrote to TRAI opposing efforts of some telcos to cabelize the internet and double dip/charge,” the minister said in a social media post. (Image sourced from Moneycontrol)

In response to recent debates triggered by TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) consultations on regulating app-layer services and the subsequent push by private telecom companies to make Over-The-Top (OTT) services pay a fair share for accessing their infrastructure, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, took a firm stance in favor of net neutrality.

He took to social media and put up a post asserting India's status as one of the first countries to ensure net neutrality.

“Net Neutrality in India was a hard fought battle for those who remember - which started during UPA government and peaked in 2015/2016. I led an effort where over 5 lac Indians wrote to TRAI opposing efforts of some telcos to cabelize the internet and double dip/charge. PM Narendra Modi Ji’s vision made India one of the first countries in the world to ensure #NetNeutrality and push back against telcos wanting to be gatekeepers of the Internet. That decision of the PM was an important factor in India becoming a world-leading innovation economy with this vibrant global standard startup ecosystem that we see today,” read his tweet.

But startups aren’t happy about the status of net neutrality. A few days back, Indian startup entrepreneurs also wrote an open letter to the prime minister highlighting their concerns on net neutrality.

“Neutrality is already being violated. Some telecom companies have shown scant respect for the issues presently under consideration by TRAI. In legally questionable moves, they have rolled out various services which violate network neutrality, apparently confident that they can do so without repercussions. This is not only an affront to the Internet users in India but also to the regulatory powers of the TRAI, the letter said.

They requested TRAI to issue an interim order or regulation preventing ongoing network neutrality violations by telecom service providers in the absence of formal regulations on net neutrality.


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First Published on Sep 29, 2023 5:37 PM

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