Net neutrality: COAI wants users to have freedom to choose

Responding to the ongoing debate on net neutrality, COAI today said it wants users to have freedom to choose.
“We should ensure customers have the freedom to choose how they want to access the Internet. A customer should be free to choose the device, technology and access platform – paid or subsidized as long as the Internet is always open in terms of access in a non-discriminatory manner,” said COAI.
“The interests of a few should not dictate the fundamental right of a customer to choose what he / she wants,” said COAI.
COAI said their members support an open Internet and believe that consumers should decide what to do online. COAI members offer choice and do not block or provide any preferential access to any web site or app. COAI also called for an open, inclusive and affordable access to the Internet for every Indian.

Telecoms to ask Internet firms to share revenue
Internet users are expected to reach over 500 million by 2018 – making India the second largest population of Internet users in the world.
COAI shared concerns that the country’s telecom operators would need an additional Capex of over INR 500,000 crore over the next 10 years in spectrum, new technology, equipment, towers, optical fiber backbone, etc., to meet Digital India, and connect 1 billion Indians.
Indian telecom industry association COAI announced Sabka Internet, Sabka Vikas, an initiative to connect the 1 billion unconnected citizens in the country.
Bharti Airtel, one of the key members of COAI, in the recent past faced criticism for not supporting net neutrality in India.
The name of the online platform is sabkainternet.in.
Addressing a press meet in Delhi today, COAI said the Internet should be for all and not remain the preserve of a few.
Ashok Sharma of Aircel, Gopal Vittal of Airtel, Himanshu Kapania of Idea Cellular, Shanker Adawal of Reliance Jio Infocomm, Rajiv Bawa of Telenor, Arvind Bali of Videocon, and Sunil Sood of Vodafone India, were present to reaffirm their commitment to Sabka Internet, Sabka Vikas program and promote Net Equality.
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