CHENNAI: Days ahead of sectoral watchdog Trai’s landmark decision on differential pricing, over 700 startups have sent a missive to none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi defending why India needs net neutrality.
The letter, signed by over 1,575 professionals from the country’s mushrooming startup base, turned to Modi urging him to ‘come out strongly in support of safeguarding of the principle of net neutrality.’
Zomato Founder Deepinder Goyal, Cleartrip Founder Hrush Bhatt, XYSEC LABS Founder Subho Halder, iSPIRT Foundation co-founder Sharad Sharma and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma have signed the petition, which was released on “Savetheinternet.in” website.
“We urge you to ensure that the recently announced initiative, Start Up India, addresses the concern of net neutrality, with clearly defined policies and firm rules,” it said.
Expressing gratitude for the government’s initiatives, particularly programmes like Digital India and Start Up India and on improving the ease of doing business, the letter said, “In the wake of the important messages made by you on helping drive forward a Startup India, and on the eve of the Republic Day celebration of our nation’s commitment to democracy, we are writing to you seeking your continued support for net neutrality.”
It said the open nature of internet allows every individual, whether online or likely to get connected to it in its current form - to be a creator and innovator by their own free will and choice.
Startups have reached out to the Prime Minister close on the heels of Trai gearing to firm up its views on framework for differential pricing of data services. They defined net neutrality as “Internet be maintained as an open platform, on which network providers treat all content, applications and services equally, without discrimination. This includes ensuring that network providers do not supply any competitive advantage to specific apps/services, either through pricing or quality of service.”
Digital India and Startup India wont be successful if we discriminate among startups
— Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder, Paytm
India is at the cusp of a start up revolution and internet is its backbone. Everyone needs to have equal access to it
— Avinash Babu M, Tantragyaan Solutions
Differential pricing is a non-starter in the industry - please ensure this cannot happen!
— Sanjay Swamy, Prime Venture Partners
Differential pricing and Free Basics will serve as arsenals to these powers to further their hold. Telco greed killed VAS, Facebook’s will kill Internet industry in India
— Thiyagarajan(Rajan), Founder/Co-founder, MoMo Bangalore
The govt should be the only gatekeeper to the internet. Please don’t let that role be taken by Facebook or Google or even the likes of Airtel
— Deepak Shenoy, Founder, Capital Mind