Trinamool Congress yesterday slammed a government panel’s report which has proposed regulation of domestic calls made using Internet at par with phone calls, saying the recommendations are “by the telecom companies, of the telecom companies and for the telecom companies”. Also Read - Airtel 5G Mumbai trials show download speeds of 1.2Gbps, upload at 850MbpsAlso Read - Jio maintains lead in 4G download speed, Vi in upload in May: TRAI
Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien indicated that the matter would be raised in Parliament which meets next week for the Monsoon session and expected Congress as well as ruling BJP to bat for net neutrality. “This is by the telecom companies, of the telecom companies and for the telecom companies,” he told PTI while commenting on the report on net neutrality submitted by a panel of the Department of Telecom. While underlining that he had no problem with the telecom companies, he said, “I believe that in the larger interest of 20 millions of people who use Internet in India, the freedom to choose should be maintained.” Also Read - Let our firms take part in 5G trials, China tells India
Hitting out at telecom companies, the Rajya Sabha MP said the private players, “which reported profits”, are trying to kill technology “when they are not able to compete with it”. “We will keep this fight for net neutrality going on. Please do whatever it takes to keep the net neutrality. No matter how big the boys are, we must be strong and upright,” he emphasised.
He said TMC is not alone on the issue. “I am confident that Congress too will bat for net neutrality. So should BJP.” The panel has proposed to regulate domestic calls made using Internet-based calling applications such as Skype, Whatsapp and Viber at par with phone call services offered by telecom operators.
The panel has opposed projects like Facebook’s Internet.org, which allow access to certain websites without mobile data charges, while suggesting that similar plans such as Airtel Zero be allowed with prior clearance from TRAI.