Government Committed to Equal Access to Internet for All: Telecom Minister

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Government Committed to Equal Access to Internet for All: Telecom Minister
Amid a debate over net neutrality, the government on Wednesday said it is committed to equal access to Internet for all and will ensure its "non-discriminatory availability".

"As far as the issue of net neutrality is concerned, for Internet expansion in India, the young people of the country have done a commendable job and my government will strive to ensure a non-discriminatory availability of Internet for the people of India, particularly the young people," Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters in New Delhi.

Net neutrality calls for equal treatment to all Internet traffic with no priority given to an entity or company based on payment to service providers such as telecom companies, which is seen as discriminatory.

A major public uproar has been continuing for last few days in the country, especially on social media, alleging violation of net neutrality principle by platforms like Airtel Zero and Internet.org, where Facebook has partnered with Reliance Communications in India.

"I want to assure the people of India, the Prime Minister himself is a great supporter of the profound activism of Indian young people on social media and the great role they are playing," the Minister said.

He added: "It is a sensitive issue on which we need to take a proper, informed decision. The larger commitment of my government, on which I am very active is, we need to strive for a non-discriminatory Internet availability."

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