SaveTheInternet, a campaign advocating for net neutrality, has strongly rejected claims made by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) that their letter to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was misleading. The letter, signed by 132 startup founders, warned against the imposition of additional network fees and regulatory obligations, stating that it puts internet services at a competitive disadvantage.
In response to COAI’s assertions, SaveTheInternet insists that the letter should be read for its principles and urges TRAI to uphold net neutrality. The campaign further called for TRAI to reject the idea of licensing online communications services.
The controversy stems from a consultation conducted by TRAI in July, in which telcos advocated for communication platforms to pay a network fee for using their infrastructure. Experts, including Standford law professor Barbara van Schewick, have raised concerns that such a fee structure could violate net neutrality. In light of this, the SaveTheInternet campaign was revived, highlighting the potential negative impact of additional regulation and network fees on internet services.
COAI’s letter, however, claims that the foundation of SaveTheInternet’s letter is based on falsehoods and misinformation. The association argues that telcos are not asking for price differentiation and that the fair share charge would be determined based on usage volumes.
SaveTheInternet strongly maintains that any form of differentiation in network bandwidth costs for startups is a violation of net neutrality. The campaign emphasizes that traffic sources should not be treated differently, irrespective of attempts to justify it as fair share.
In response to COAI’s claims, many startup founders have come forward to express support for net neutrality and their belief that they were not misled. They argue that telcos should respect net neutrality and not attempt to mislead the government by attacking those advocating for real net neutrality.
– Net neutrality: The principle that all internet traffic should be treated equally, without discrimination or preference given to any particular type of content or service.
– Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI): An association representing the interests of mobile network operators in India.
– Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI): The regulatory body responsible for overseeing the telecommunications sector in India.
– [Economic Times](https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/technology/yes-peers-we-are-voluntarily-assisting-the-save-the-internet-campaign-on-net-neutrality/articleshow/16872114.cms)
– [Barbara van Schewick](https://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blog/2014/01/why-zero-rating-plan-violates-net-neutrality)
– [Twitter – @nutanc](https://twitter.com/nutanc/status/1448900467282718723)
– [Twitter – @vikasmalpani](https://twitter.com/vikasmalpani/status/1448671078705070594)
– [Twitter – @deepakshenoy](https://twitter.com/deepakshenoy/status/1448675554775426051)
– [Twitter – @abhi2point0](https://twitter.com/abhi2point0/status/1448673825960527368)