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Airtel says it backs net neutrality as Flipkart aborts deal

15 April 2015

The campaign for internet neutrality in India got a huge boost on Tuesday as Flipkart, the country's largest online retailer, said it is aborting talks with telecom leader Bharti Airtel to join its 'Airtel Zero' programme.

Flipkart said in a statement that the company is will work towards ensuring free and fair internet for one and all, as it supports ''the larger cause of net neutrality''.

Late on Tuesday, Airtel too issued a statement saying that the company fully supports net neutrality, and its Zero platform is open to all without any discrimination.

Airtel said, "There have been some misconceptions about our toll free data platform - Airtel Zero. It is not a tariff proposition but is an open marketing platform."

Net neutrality means that all internet traffic must be given equal treatment. Giving priority to any company willing to pay for it is seen as a violation of the basic tenets of free internet.

The debate over net neutrality is raging across the world, and has reached Indian shores over the last month or so.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has asked citizens to send their responses on net neutrality. The deadline for sending responses is 24 April.

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