Media Studies Group’s Statement on Internet Neutrality

Media Studies Group demands that TRAI place Consultation document in Indian languages and extend deadline for feedback on Net Neutrality. 

New Delhi: April 20, 2015: Media Studies Group, a Delhi based think tank on communication studies, held a marathon meeting on Sunday on internet neutrality in the light of TRAI’s consultation paper on over-the-top (OTT) services. The meeting discussed various technical, legal and social aspects emerging out of Airtel’s Plan Zero and the venture of Facebook.

There was complete unanimity that the issue of net neutrality is complex in nature and that the masses need to be educated in simple and non-technical language so that a fair opinion can be generated on the functioning of the internet as the present move, if successful, will pose a serious challenge to the principle of equality and democratic character of the internet.

The meeting took a critical view of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for its failure to present the consultation document in Indian languages. To have chosen to make the document available only in English is a move which has the potential of altering the fair access to internet by large numbers of users of Hindi and other regional languages. Media Studies Group also felt that the deadline of April 24 is unreasonable and should be extended.

It has been decided that a representation will be given to TRAI to demand presentation of the consultation document in Indian languages in easy to understand language and to set a new reasonable deadline for feedback . Media Studies Group has also decided to give a detailed representation to TRAI on the issue of Net Neutrality with a holistic view seeking protection of fundamental principles and rights enshrined in the Constitution of India.

On behalf of MSG,

Anil Chamadia, Chairman, Media Studies Group.

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