The COAI reaffirmed its support to Net Neutrality and made a strong pitch for ‘Net Equality’ that will enable access to Internet for a Billion Indians as part of the Government’s Digital India vision. The Association urged all stakeholders to have a comprehensive and informed debate on the subject of Net Neutrality keeping in mind the requirements of India and its citizens. An important and complex subject such as this, which is still being debated in many countries, which has taken years to conclude in many other countries and which is the subject of litigation in some, should not be left to the opinion of a few.
Clearing misconceptions that have arisen from the recent public debate over net neutrality and concerns over operators who are trying to control the consumers’ access to the Internet, COAI said, “We support an open Internet and believe that consumers, should decide what to do online. Our job is to enable consumers to benefit from that freedom. And We offer choice and do not block or provide any preferential access to any web site or app.”
COAI also underlined their commitment to the Digital India story and called for an open, inclusive and affordable Internet access for every Indian. The Industry Association added that India’s telecom revolution has empowered over 950 million citizens through affordable services and the Internet revolution must now touch every citizen of the country. COAI said its members are fully committed to investing in the Government of India’s Digital India vision and need an enabling environment that promotes the growth of the entire Internet ecosystem.
COAI further added that we should ensure customers have the freedom to choose how they want to access the Internet. A customer should be free to choose the device, technology and access platform – paid or subsidized as long as the Internet is always open in terms of access in a non-discriminatory manner. We support this! The interests of a few should not dictate the fundamental right of a customer to choose what he/she wants.