According to reports, internet search giant Google has reportedly begun pushing the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), a body that represents Internet and mobile companies in India, from taking a stance that opposes Zero Rating, in its submission to the Department of Telecom’s report on Net Neutrality.

Zero Rating plans allow Internet companies (who have a lot of money to throw around) to grant access to their apps and services or websites absolutely free of charge, by making a deal with telecom providers.

A Medianama report now reveals that Vineeta Dixit from Google’s public policy and government relations team had written to IAMAI for removal of any mention of ‘Zero Rating’ from its submission to the Department of Telecom. The news site has got its hands on the copies of the emails written.

The email dated 14 August reportedly reads, “We would like to register strong protest against this formulation and would request you to remove this (Zero Rating) from the submission.”

It should be noted that amidst the entire net neutrality conundrum, Google hasn’t been in favour of; or, opposed net neutrality in India. It has been tight lipped so far. However, a report by The Economic Times points out that Google plans to roll out its own Zero Rated service in India.

In the past couple of months, a lot has been said and written about net neutrality in India. It was Airtel who created quite a stir with its new Airtel Zero marketing platform. However, massive outrage forced its partner Flipkart to walk out of Airtel Zero. Soon companies like Cleartrip and NDTV walked out of Facebook’s Internet.org, a platform which lets users access only those sites which have struck a deal with Facebook and Reliance communications – which was Facebook’s Indian telecom partner for Internet.org.

After months of debate on the fundamental principle of the Internet – freedom –the Department of Telecom panel led by A K Bhargava has submitted its report on Net Neutrality and made it public.

Throughout the report, the panel has emphasised on the user’s right to Net Neutrality. The recommendations of the report have been (paraphrased) here for your better understanding.

Yesterday was the last day for submitting your suggestions on the Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT) draft report on the issue of Net Neutrality, after the deadline was extended by five days. Unlike the older method where you had to send an email to TRAI, the new way to register your responses was through MyGov.in.

The received responses will be considered by the government to take a decision on the net neutrality issue along with TRAI’s suggestions following the consultation process.

Publish date: August 22, 2015 9:55 am| Modified date: August 22, 2015 9:55 am

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