After facing a barrage of criticism for tying up with the controversial Airtel Zero plan, e-commerce giant, Flipkart, has withdrawn out of the service. According to a Flipkart spokesman, the e-commerce giant has taken the wise decision to walk away from their partnership with Airtel and instead they want to commit themselves to the ‘larger cause of Net Neutrality’.
A week back, Flipkart caused a major outburst when they announced that they would be joining Airtel Zero. This act allows companies to buy data from telcos and offer their consumers free internet access. This lead to violation by discriminating various Internet services on the basis of price.
Here’s the complete official statement from Flipkart:
We at Flipkart have always strongly believed in the concept of net neutrality, for we exist because of the Internet. Over the past few days, there has been an enormous amount of debate, both internally and externally, on the topic of zero rating, and we have a deeper understanding of the implications. Based on this, we have decided on the following:
We will be walking away from the ongoing discussions with Airtel for their platform Airtel Zero.
We will be committing ourselves to the larger cause of Net Neutrality in India. We will be internally discussing over the next few days, the details of actions we will take to support the cause.
We will be working towards ensuring that the spirit of net neutrality is upheld and applied equally to all companies in India irrespective of the size or the service being offered, and there is no discrimination whatsoever.
To protest against Airtel’s net neutrality violation, a website has been launched called www.SaveTheInternet.in, using which anyone can send a direct mail to TRAI in support of the cause. According to reports, within three days a record of 1.5lakh petitions were emailed to TRAI.
After Flipkart, many politicians are showing concern and have joined in to pitch in for Internet freedom. Next month, a panel of six members will be set up by the telecom department, who will give in their final take on Net Neutrality.