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Zuckerberg in favour of 100 percent net neutrality

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New Delhi: Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday reiterated the need of an open internet platform like its proprietary initiative Internet.org in India while reminding that Facebook always supported net neutrality.

“We have always adhered to net neutrality regulations but there are several countries who still do not have norms in place,” Zuckerberg said at the Facebook India townhall meeting at IIT Delhi.

“We will adapt to them as soon as they are in place as we are in the favour of being 100 percent net neutral,” Zuckerberg said.

The townhall at IIT Delhi follows the Menlo Park chapter at Facebook headquarters which was held during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second US visit.

“Free basics programme under the Internet.org initiative aims to connect the next billion people and we cannot miss India in that vision as it is one of the largest democracies in the world,” the chief executive told a gathering of 1,100 people expressing his discontent in some way over the ongoing debate about net neutrality.

Further explaining his stand, he said “Free basics does not intend to harm anyone — neither the consumers nor the operators. Any developer who can stream low-data consuming content can be a part of the platform.”

“Internet.org is currently live in 24 countries and has 50 million subscribers. India itself has nearly over one million people subscribed to the platform,” Zuckerberg said reiterating his favourite example of quoting a research that claims that every 10 people connected to the internet lifts one life out of poverty.

He also said that over half of the nine million users of Internet.org service signed up for a paid-for data package of some kind within the first month.

It has directly led phone owners to adopt new services 50 percent faster than they otherwise would.

Currently, India has no regulations on net neutrality. Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a reply to the Lok Sabha said “the committee of the department of telecommunications on net neutrality has submitted its report. However, it is not the final report nor the government has taken any final view.”

“Based on the report, comments and suggestions received and recommendations of TRAI, the government will take a considered decision on various aspects of net neutrality, in the best interest of the country,” Prasad said.

(IANS)

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U.S. Federal Appeals Court Wont Delay Talks About Net Neutrality

California agreed not to enforce its own state net neutrality law until the appeals court's decision on the 2017 repeal and any potential review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Net Neutrality
A sign with an emoji that reads "Don't take net neutrality away" is posted outside the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in Washington, Dec. 14, 2017. VOA

A federal appeals court said Thursday it would not delay oral arguments set for Feb. 1 on the Trump administration’s decision to repeal the 2015 landmark net neutrality rules governing internet providers.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday asked the court to delay the arguments over its December 2017 repeal, citing the partial government shutdown. Without comment, the court denied the request.

The FCC had no immediate comment on the decision.

A group of 22 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia have asked the court to reinstate the Obama-era internet rules and block the FCC’s effort to pre-empt states from imposing their own rules guaranteeing an open internet.

Net Neutrality
State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, left, receives congratulations from Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, center, and Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, right, after his net neutrality bill was approved by the state Senate. VOA

Several internet companies are also part of the legal challenge, including Mozilla Corp, Vimeo Inc and Etsy Inc, as well as numerous media and technology advocacy groups and major cities, including New York and San Francisco.

The FCC voted to reverse the rules that barred internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or offering paid fast lanes, also known as paid prioritization.

The FCC said providers must disclose any changes in users’ internet access.

‘Misguided’ repeal

The net neutrality repeal was a win for providers like Comcast Corp, AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc, but was opposed by internet companies like Facebook Inc, Amazon. com Inc and Alphabet Inc.

Major providers have not made any changes in how Americans access the internet since the repeal.

net neutrality
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks after signing a bill, March 5, 2018, in Olympia, Washington, that makes Washington the first state to set up its own net-neutrality requirements in response to the FCC’s recent repeal of Obama-era rules. VOA

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, said on Thursday that the lawsuits are aimed at overturning the agency’s “misguided” repeal of the Obama rules. “The fight for an open internet continues,” she wrote on Twitter.

Also Read: Google Probing ‘Malicious’ Attack on its Internet Traffic

The panel hearing the case is made up of Judges Robert Wilkins and Patricia Millett, two appointees of Barack Obama, and Stephen Williams, an appointee of Republican Ronald Reagan.

In October, California agreed not to enforce its own state net neutrality law until the appeals court’s decision on the 2017 repeal and any potential review by the U.S. Supreme Court. (VOA)