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How Indian telecom operators defend their attack on net neutrality

The Cellular Operators Association of India, a telecom lobby which includes the largest telecom operators in India (Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular), and has inducted Google (read) and Facebook (read) as members in the last one year, has created a paper that calls for regulation of Internet (OTT) services (details), submitted a letter to the TRAI against Whatsapp (read), and asked the Indian government to create a revenue share relationship between Internet services and telecom operators (read). Airtel*, Idea Cellular and Vodafone, which are key members of the COAI, have repeatedly made anti net neutrality statements in the past (read). Here's how Rajan Mathews, Director General of the COAI, justified violation of Net Neutrality, while speaking yesterday at the IAMAI India Digital Summit, in a session moderated by Shivam Vij, and with Mahesh Uppal (a telecom consultant) and Vijay Anand (of the Startup Centre and iSpirit) participating: 1: Net Neutrality is a foreign concept, not for India Rajan Mathews said: "It’s a foreign issue that has been thrust upon us. We need to develop our own vocabulary for net neutrality. It comes the concept of access. The US government has monopolies, and there was a rate of return guaranteed to AT&T and built on public expense. The notion of common carrier status was established under law, and everyone got equal opportunity to access. There was no issue in a voice network built on peak, and there was plenty of bandwidth off-peak. We’re taking this concept and putting it in a situation…

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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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