Those fighting for net neutrality in India have received a huge boost. Founders and CEOs of nine Indian startups have come together to publicly oppose Facebook s Free Basics initiative. Also Read - Facebook smartwatch to feature cameras alongside fitness functions: Yes, detachable cameras!Also Read - What happens to your Facebook account after you die?
These startup founders sent a joint letter on Tuesday to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Chairman RS Sharma, asking the regulator to prevent telecom or content providers from acting as gate-keepers offering restricted Internet services instead of the Open Internet. Also Read - WhatsApp Multi-device support confirmed, public beta rollout begins in two months: Mark Zuckerberg
The aforementioned nine startup founders include Zomato s Deepinder Goyal, Paytm s Vijay Shekhar Sharma, GOQii s Vishal Gondal, TrulyMadly s Sachin Bhatia, SVG Media s Manish Vij, Teesort.com s Alok Agarwal, Metis Learning s Bharat Gulia, Mouthshut.com s Faisal Farooqui, and FlipClass.com s Vineet Dwivedi, IndianExpress reports.
This letter in question has been drafted by the folks at Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC.IN), which is essentially a non-profit organization supporting the SaveTheInternet.in campaign. “The open nature of the Internet has spurred innovation and enabled startups to flourish. The success of Google, Facebook or of several Indian startups, including those founded by the below signatories to this letter, is a result of the open nature of the internet that permitted innovation without any entry barriers,” the letter read.
The letter was sent a day before TRAI s deadline to submit comments on its consultation paper on differential pricing of data services. The consultation paper was drafted in the backdrop of the ongoing battle between net neutrality activists and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg s Free Basics initiative. While the deadline to submit comments is up today, TRAI has set another deadline of January 7 for receiving counter comments.