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Indian telecom operators want government help in killing net neutrality

If you think Net Neutrality isn't going to be an issue in India, think again. Telecom Operators in India are gearing up to push for a regulation to get websites to pay to allow consumers to access them. The telecom industry's lobbying arm, the Cellular Operators Association of India, has listed "revenue sharing agreements" with telecom operators one of the five items on their wishlist for the new government. COAI Director General Rajan Mathews is quoted in The Hindu as saying that telecom operators feel they need "a revenue sharing arrangement between the over-the-top service providers and telecom service providers. COAI Members believe there is a crucial need to initiate dialogue and work with the Government of India on this issue". Over-the-top is what telecom operators disparagingly call the Internet, and such a move will turn internet connections in to cable connections. Users do not want this. Watch this great video below, where John Oliver explains the Net Neutrality issue in the US. Remember that this issue will hit India sooner than you expect: the TRAI is believed to be working on an FCC like consultation. In India, Airtel's been at the forefront of this battle against an equal web, but it has so far been trying to give a positive spin to it: last year, Airtel’s then CEO International and Joint MD Manoj Kohli said "I believe we (telecom operators) can lift the level of usage of all these services, and customers propensity to use more and more, rather than continue this unnecessary…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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