The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The CPI (M) welcomes the decision of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) disallowing service providers from offering or charging discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content. The CPI(M) has always held that net neutrality is a fundamental pillar of the internet.
The consultation process was conducted amid an unprecedented publicity drive by Facebook and certain other companies to sway public opinion but they failed to do so. The decision of TRAI in this case and its efforts of conducting consultations is to be commended. CPI(M) also congratulates all the internet activists who fought for net neutrality and whose strong views ensured such a decision.
The CPI(M) also wishes to use this opportunity to impress on the government the need for improving access to the internet to all sections of the society so that they can benefit from the immense potential of the medium. Recent reports indicate that nearly Rs. 39,000 crore collected as part of the Universal Service Obligation fund lies unutilised. Mobilsing such resources to launch a massive campaign to bring more people the benefits of information technology must be a priority of the State.