Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray has urged the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to stall attempts to axe net neutrality which according to him will draw public ire and do lasting damage to the nation which is on the threshold of moving forward digitally.
Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray. File picture
Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all traffic on their networks equally. That means users should be able to access all websites at the same speed and cost. No website should be given preferential treatment over another.
Thackeray, in a letter to TRAI, said that killing net neutrality and allowing telecom operators to do so is notonly draconian but also messes up the entire utility angle of access to internet that has been widely used in the country.
"People from almost every social and economic strata have a mobile phone and unknowingly use the Internet to communicate," the letter stated. "Furthermore, such an option to charge websites for either access or speed would simply kill NDA government's Make in India, whereby many young people have startups or small businesses via websites. To milk them, to be at the same access speed of a (telecom) giant isn't simply fair," it said.
Thackeray said that people's choice of access to the internet cannot be governed by telecom operators and that there can be other ways of increasing their revenue share. "We cannot let the commercial interests of these few telecom companies govern our citizen's ability to access information on the Internet.
This move would not only be regressive but also drain our citizens economically and leave them without free access to the Internet," the letter said.
"In an age where the NDA government is trying to bring in the Digital India revolution to benefit the nation, we must hammer down this move and keep the internet neutral. Slavery is a thing of the past, extortion is a crime and by allowing the Regulatory Framework for Over the Top Services (OTT), we will virtually legalise their whims," it added.