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DoT Says Zero Rating Plans Must Adhere To Net Neutrality Principles

The Department of Telecom committee which submitted its report to the government about net neutrality has said that ‘Zero rating platforms’ would have to provide the same terms for entry to all content providers and websites if they are to be allowed.

The DoT report on net neutrality says zero rate plans must be open to all users.
The DoT report on net neutrality says zero rate plans must be open to all users.

Joint Secretary of Telecoms V Umashankar, a member of the DoT committee, said that collaborations between telecom operators and content providers should be discouraged from adopting a ‘gatekeeper’ role between users and content. He added that the government and its regulator would take measures to ‘restore balance to ensure that the Internet remains an open and neutral platform for expression and innovation’.

According to the committee plans such as Bharti Airtel’s ‘Zero’ plan, which has seen significant flak in the net neutrality debate, violates the principles of net neutrality as they currently are.

The report published by the committee has suggested that in the case of zero rating platforms, TRAI would have to study the tariff plan and see if it conforms to the principles of net neutrality on a case by case basis.

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