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A response to Airtel’s justification of its net neutrality violation

Airtel sent us a statement explaining the rationale for its net neutrality violation, wherein it started differential rates for Internet Telephony (VoIP), as opposed to other Internet services. As we explained earlier, a COAI paper mentions what the industry association refers to as 'OTT', which it believes eats into telecom operator revenues: VoIP, Instant Messaging (IM), Applications (Apps), Cloud Services, Internet Television, IPTV, M2M – Machine to Machine (M2M) communications, Social Networking. So, all digital services are under threat of being carved out as separate packs. Also read: Net Neutrality, a simple explanation. Airtel believes that what it is doing is right, so we decided to 'fisk' it's statement, backed by data: Airtel: "Over the last twenty years, we have invested over Rs. 140, 000 crores in rolling out telecommunications services in every nook and corner of the country. In addition, we have paid over Rs. 50, 000 crore in terms of government levies in just 5 years. " MediaNama's take: 1. On investment made in telecom: In just the last two and a half years, Airtel has earned Rs 141,545 crore in revenues, and Rs 16,211 crore in profit. Over 20 years, they've substantially more money, which is great return on their investment. They've invested for the return they've gotten. 2. On government fees: They were able to build their business because instead of a fixed license fee, the government reduced their initial costs by allowing them to pay a revenue share. When they earn more money, they pay more…

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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

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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