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Parliamentary Committee to discuss Net Neutrality issue today

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

After a long-running debate, the controversial net neutrality issue will be discussed today by a parliamentary committee in a special meeting. The gathering will also be attended by officials from telecom companies like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea.

The main agenda of this meeting is to understand the views of telecom company officials on the topic that has been creating uproar for some time. In fact, even a number of MPs had spoken in favor of net neutrality in the Parliament during this year’s budget session.

According to sources, the views of telecom officials on net neutrality are very crucial for the proper understanding of the issue that triggered a storm after a consultation paper floated by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) last month suggested that net neutrality could end.

Amid controversies, the issue has united almost all the political parties in India, be it BJP, Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena or INC. Derek O’Brien from Trinamool Congress had even raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha regarding the subject of Internet equality.

When asked about his plans for today’s meeting, he said, “I am glad that Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari allowed Calling Attention Motion on it (earlier this month). And I am glad that the matter has gone to the next stage.”

He also said that he hopes the government will see ‘some sense’ and not consider the TRAI consultation paper.

The government has made it clear that no decision has been taken on the matter yet, and has also promised to ensure ‘non-discriminatory access to Internet’ to all citizens.

During the parliament session, IT and Telecom Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said, “Government stands for ensuring non-discriminatory access to internet for all citizens of the country. It is committed to the fundamental principles and concept of net neutrality, keeping the internet accessible and available to all without discrimination.”

While replying to the Calling Attention Motion in Rajya Sabha raised by Derek O’Brien, Prasad said, “Connectivity to internet must go in an unhindered manner. I assure the House that the key principles of net neutrality will be followed while following concerns with a national outlook.”

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Airtel Brings WiFi Calling Services in India

To use the facility, consumers will have to first ensure that they have a compatible phone

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Bharti Airtel
Bharti Airtel's office. Wikimedia Commons

Airtel has launched Wi-Fi calling after testing it for months, but for now it will work only on Airtel Xstream Fiber and on select smartphones.

The Wi-Fi calling is being rolled out for prepaid and postpaid subscribers across the country, according to Airtel here on Tuesday. “It is currently available in Delhi NCR and will be gradually rolled out across India,” it said.

The Wi-Fi calling will let Airtel users make use of the Wi-Fi network in their homes to make calls using VoIP, instead of relying on cellular connectivity. There will be no extra charge for calls made over Airtel Wi-Fi calling and the application consumes minimal data.

Reliance Jio is also working on a similar feature and is expected to launch it soon.

airtel music app, airtel, wynk tube
To use the facility, consumers will have to first ensure that they have a compatible phone. Wikimedia Commons

“It is designed to enhance voice calling experience for Airtel smartphone customers, especially when they are indoors. With it, customers with Wi-Fi at home or office will get excellent signal quality indoors,” said an Airtel spokesperson.

Also Read: Genetic Alteration Can Increase Risk of Developing Autism and Tourette’s Syndrome

To use the facility, consumers will have to first ensure that they have a compatible phone.

Currently, Airtel supports all iPhone series starting 6s. It means the service can be accessed by consumers having iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Plus, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Plus, Xiaomi Redmi K20, Redmi K20 Pro and POCO F1, Samsung J6, Samsung A10s, Samsung On6, Samsung M30s, OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus 7T and OnePlus 7T Pro. (IANS)