Airtel opposes net neutrality; asks Google, Facebook to share profits
Net neutrality is one of the growing issues in a number of countries across the globe, especially in the emerging countries where Internet usage via mobile phone is going past the fixed-line web. Net neutrality basically means ISPs are supposed to treat all sorts of Internet access in the same fashion.
Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel has come out against the net neutrality and asked the Internet companies such as Google, Yahoo! and Facebook to share their revenues for using operators’ expensive infrastructure.
Bharti Airtel's senior official Jagbir Singh recently said the telecom regulator should levy interconnection charges for data services, as it is applied for voice calls. “Today, Google, Yahoo! and others are enjoying at the cost of network operator. We are the ones investing in setting up data pipes and they make the money. There is interconnection for voice then why not for data,” he told Hindu Business Line.
While pointing out that network is capital intensive, he further said that the telecom operators have to pay huge sums for spectrum and that the voice revenue was dipping. He also highlights that the Internet companies such as Google are enjoying valuations that are ten times of a traditional telecom player.
Airtel in India is the first telecom operator to launch LTE-based 4G services in the country. The operator reveals traffic from Web sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google account for nearly 40 per cent of its overall data traffic
It's notable telecom companies across the world have been pressurising the regulators to resolve this issue. The Internet companies such as Google, on the other hand, have been pushing 'network neutrality' on grounds that the Internet should be free and does not need to be controlled by regulation. Telecom operators are finding it tough to keep upgrading network to meet the rising data demands.
It's learnt that carriers in the US and UK are quite vocal against net neutrality rules. European Commission is conducting an EU-wide consultation period to gauge public opinion on net neutrality. To collect responses the EC has created a questionnaire that any European citizen can complete.
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