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Net Neutrality: Flipkart Pulls Out Of Airtel Zero

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Amid a raging debate over equal Internet access for all, online marketplace Flipkart on Tuesday said it will walk away from ongoing discussions with telecom service provider Airtel for their platform "Airtel Zero".
 
"We will be walking away from the ongoing discussions with Airtel for their platform Airtel Zero. We will be committing ourselves to the larger cause of net neutrality in India,"  the company said.
 
"We will be working towards ensuring that the spirit of net neutrality is upheld and applied equally to all companies in India, irrespective of the size or the service offered and there is absolutely no discrimination whatsoever," Flipkart said.
 
Sachin Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart, has said the company supports any situation where users have complete control over the services they use or products that they buy.
 
Net neutrality implies equal treatment to all Internet traffic and any priority given to an application or company on payment basis is seen as violating the concept.
 
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will decide whether telecom companies be allowed to charge different prices for differential use of data over the Internet.
 
Activists have slammed a recent consultation paper by regulators in this regard.
 
More than 100,000 internet users have written to the TRAI in support of net neutrality in the country.
 
Launched last week, Airtel Zero is an open-marketing platform that allows customers to access a variety of mobile applications for free, with the data charges being paid by the applications.
 
Social networks like Twitter and Facebook have been buzzing with people campaigning that policy makers should not allow telecom companies to charge extra fees for Internet services or provide preferential access to certain apps.


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