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Net Neutrality violation: Airtel introduces differential pricing for type of Mobile Internet usage

Update: Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said the ministry will look into this issue, reports PTI. We hope he's not merely waiting for things to die down. 24th December 2014: And so it begins: In what is a violation of principles of net neutrality, Bharti Airtel has introduced differential pricing based on type of Mobile Internet usage: it has begun by charging consumers differently for using the Mobile Internet for services such as Skype and Viber, and differently for other types of Mobile Internet usage. Telecom Talk points us towards this change in Airtel's terms and conditions for 3G services: All Internet/data packs or plans (through which customer can avail discounted rate) shall only be valid for internet browsing and will exclude VoIP (Both incoming/ Outgoing). VoIP over data connectivity would be charged at standard data rates of 4p / 10 KB (3G service) and 10p / 10 KB (2G service). An Airtel representative has confirmed to MediaNama that they've changed these terms because they are launching a separate VoIP pack. They've sent a statement: “We have made some revisions in the composition of our data packs, and will offer VoIP (Voice over internet protocol) connectivity through an independent pack that will be launched shortly. Our customers can continue enjoying voice calls over data connectivity by opting for this VoIP pack, or simply use VoIP services on pay-as-you-go basis.” We had outlined three core principles of net neutrality: All sites must be equally accessible: ISPs and telecom operators shouldn't block certain sites…

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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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