Even as the debate and controversy over net neutrality rages on, Flipkart has decided to pull out of Airtel Zero.
The e-commerce giant confirmed the news in an official statement, saying, "We will be walking away from the ongoing discussions with Airtel for their platform Airtel Zero."
Both Flipkart and Airtel have faced flak over the past few days, amid news reports that telecom operators have approached the Telecom Regulatory Authority of Indi (TRAI) to allow them to block apps and websites and also charge money from both consumers and businesses to the detriment of users
Net neutrality is the principle that all legal Internet content should be equally accessible to consumers and that Internet service providers should not favour, block or slow down access to any of it.
The current debate over net neutrality has been sparked off following Airtel coming up with its ‘Zero marketing’ platform that allows users to access apps of participating app developers at zero data charges.
The move was widely condemned, but Flipkart’s Sachin Bansal favoured it leading to many user downvoting the Flipkart app.
But after a backlash on the internet, here's what the company has promised:
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 absolutely no discrimination whatsoever
Meanwhile, supporting the campaign to save net neutrality, thousands of Indians have voiced their support and the number is growing by the minute.
Indians have sent over 1 lakh emails to TRAI over the issue through the website savetheinternet.in. The emails have been sent in response to the regulator's call for public consultation. The scheduled government deadline for sending in feedback will lapse in a week.
By 13 April, about 100,000 emails had been sent to TRAI demanding net neutrality.
Click here to know more about Net Neutrality