Rajya Sabha

April 29, 2015

Vivek Gupta speaks on the violation of internet neutrality by telecom operators in India | Full Transcript

Full Transcript

Sir, the Article 19 (I) A of the Constitution guarantees us the Freedom of Expression. However, the telecom operators in cahoots with Telecom Regulatory Authority of India are trying to bring in a backdoor method and violating all modes of net neutrality and make certain applications only on the data networks, which will mean the more data consumed, the more money inflow for them.

However Sir, this will violate any kind of freedom that any telecom user, that is more than 90 million users in India.

Sir, this will also violate the Right to Information as interpreted by the Supreme Court of India.

Sir, by restricting access to information and fair and free usage of internet, these operators, just because they want to make some money, are trying to manipulate and corrupt the system of licensed telecom operations in India.

Sir, the TRAI has also floated a consultation mechanism where you could not go and post your views as the site is always down and when somehow people were able to put in, they simply exposed all the one million people who put it so they can be targeted and their image could be hacked.

Sir, if the Government is serious in allowing this to happen, which I feel is a very, very bad idea, then in the spectrum auction, why did it not mention that the telecom operators will be allowed to do this kind of monopolistic practices.

Sir, the Hon’ble Prime Minister says Skill India will come from Digital India. Sir, if this is the way, we should rename it to Limited Digital India because a non-neutral Digital India would not serve the purpose.

Sir, the National Telecom Policy also envisages affordable and reliable broadband by 2015. Sir, all these will be defeated if TRAI and these telecom operators are allowed to do this.

Sir, when the TRAI is trying to endorse a foreign concept, we would request the TRAI and specially the Ministry of Telecom to instruct TRAI to first see the Indian sensitivities and then follow these kinds of concepts blankly.

Sir, in the end, my request through you is to safeguard the freedom and choice of equality on the internet and to promote innovation and competition on the web. This step should be abhorred, discouraged and the net neutrality of the telecom operators should be restored.