The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has ruled against differential tariffs and zero rating – the system that allows service providers to let subscribers use certain websites or other Internet services free of charge and levy fees of differing values in others.

Such differential pricing and ‘free-of-charge’ offers based on content or websites contravene the principle of Net neutrality.

It was a battle of the giants vs. the underdogs. On one side were arranged the biggies like Facebook who pumped big money into their campaign to let differential pricing stay, and on the other, a bunch of volunteers under the banner. The underdogs had massive backing from the public.

Kiran Jonnalagadda, a co-founder of the movement, was ecstatic that, “for the first time, India leads where the US and Europe will follow.”

Still ahead is the humungous task of providing Internet access to nearly a billion Indians who are offline, or nominally online, today.


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