Net Neutrality Important, Says Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

 
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Net Neutrality Important, Says Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said the principle of net neutrality, which means access to Internet and related services without any discrimination or barrier, is important and views of all stakeholders will be taken for evolving a governance model for the Web.

"Internet is property of world. Global world must be linked to local. Net neutrality is important as Internet is meant for masses. We will need to take stakeholders views to see broadly what should be the governance architecture to deal with it," Prasad told PTI.

He was responding to a query on government's view on the subject.

The minister is expected to chair a meeting soon where stakeholders will present model of Internet governance and issues around it.

US lawmakers plan to start drafting legislation this week aimed at keeping the Internet open without stricter net neutrality rules that have received backing from some corners.

Under the principle of net neutrality, telecom operators or anyone who plays a role in delivery of Internet should not discriminate or impose any kind of barrier for accessing the Internet or services based on the Internet.

Recently, there was huge public outcry on social media when telecom major Bharti Airtel decided to charge separately for calls made using Internet connections. It later backtracked on its plans.

Trai is expected to come out with a consultation paper to take a public view on regulating over-the-top telecom players like Skype, WhatsApp, Viber which facilitate their user to make calls or send message using Internet for free.

OTT subscribers are only required to pay for Internet charges consumed for using their services.

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