India Defends Net Neutrality against Facebook’s Free Basics

"What’s interesting in all this is that Barbara van Schewick, director of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, whose paper was recently submitted to the FCC regarding the illegality of zero-rating certain streaming video feeds here in North America,was at the heart of this debate.

“This is a very important decision for the future of the Internet in India,” said van Schewick, whose paper the TRA cited in its ruling.

The TRA decided “ISPs should not pick winners and losers online,” she told the E-Commerce Times. “The Internet is a level playing field where users, not ISPs, decide what they want to do online.”

“In India, given that a majority of the population are yet to be connected to the Internet, allowing service providers to define the nature of access would be (the) equivalent of letting ISPs shape the users’ Internet experience,” the TRA ruling said, and this “can prove to be risky.”

“If ISPs really want to get more people online, they can, for example, offer 500 MB of bandwidth to everyone at 2G speeds, but what people do with that bandwidth is their choice,” van Schewick said."