You have media houses like Times Group, NDTV supporting net neutrality. You telecom operators like Airtel saying that they are not opposed to net neutrality and they don’t plan to throttle or block content. Then you have internet social sites like facebook and google wanting it for obvious reason. You have the e-commerce sites like flipkart and cleartrip now suddenly discovering that they were on the ‘wrong’ side. If everybody is agreeing to ‘it’, what is the problem, you will ask.
That is what our telecom industry man TRAI cheief Khullar is saying :
In exclusive comments to the Indian Express, TRAI chief Telecom regulator Rahul Khullar had also said that the furore had been sparked off by a ‘ corporate war’ between a media house and a telecom operator, which is ” confounding already difficult matters”. (source Firstpost ). Lo, he is ‘confounded‘. The man whom we pay to be stay clear of corporate wars take an informed stand for larger public good is confounded! Whether he is genuinely confounded or not is another matter. Read this:
“It looks like Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in its consultation paper, has copy-pasted from submissions of telcos. India has a robust and at times, overbearing IT Act,” IAMAI President Subho Ray was quoted as saying by PTI. “
I call ‘Net neutrality’ as ‘it‘ because it defies definition much like secularism, freedom of expression etc. Even the Congress supports it now! Since the devil is in details it is best to lay down clear principles (see https://raverantreflect.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/nut-neutrality/ ) We can’t depend on assurances of Airtel Chief or some other corporate bosses. They have their respective jobs to do.
All the above corporate lobbies have one thing in common: build something and seek rents. These rentiers care two hoots for your or mine privacy, unfettered and un-influenced access to internet. All these companies may have their own rent seeking business models. But public policy can’t be decided by their business models. We expect Khullar to not just to stay neutral but also to be competent and well informed to form an independent policy which will uphold public good.
We also expect RS Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology to stand when a confounded Khullar fails. Can we expect that?