New Delhi(PTI): The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) on Friday pitched for internet neutrality…
Even as Mark Zuckerberg pledged Facebook’s support toward net neutrality, Indian Web app and media houses that were originally part of the Internet.org initiative have been abandoning this platform in quick succession.
Facebook’s Internet.org, a partnership between Facebook and seven global cellular service companies (one of which is Reliance Communications), was created to bring Internet access to the masses by enabling access to basic Web-based services for free. This service, available only to Reliance subscribers, can be accessed via the start screen of the mobile web browser Opera Mini, or via the UC Browser for Internet.org. Comprising this alliance in India, the Internet.org platform brought 38 partners on board including India Today, NDTV, ESPN Cricinfo, OLX, Newshunt, Times of India, Maharashtra Times IBNLive and more (see complete list below).
Among the first to exit from the Internet.org platform was Cleartrip, tweeting their pulling out of Internet.org, with CMO Subramanya Sharma Tweeting and posting on the company’s blog explaining the decision in detail.
Shortly later was NDTV, with Co-Founder and Executive Co-Chairperson Prannoy Roy tweeting their being committed to be net neutrality cause and therefore exiting the Internet.org platform.
Newshunt also pulled away from the platform, tweeting this statement:
The Times of India has stated they will be pulling out TimesJobs and Maharashtra Times from the Internet.org platform. They also said they are committed to withdrawing the Times of India from the platform if its direct competitors–India Today, NDTV, IBNLive, NewsHunt, and BBC – also pull out. With these recent exits, their eventual exit from this Zero Rating platform appears very likely.
The full list of participants in Internet.org include:
Meanwhile, Net Neutrality India continues to urge still-participating partners to reconsider their membership with Internet.org: