After a major uproar when it announced special data packs for VoIP service Skype, Airtel has decided to roll back the package. Every technology in the know had raised their voices against the move as it was seen as the first step towards dividing the internet. United States has already seen plenty of players taking Net Neutrality into their hands, and this was the first instance of when somebody tried to do the same in India. Under the new statement, Airtel would not be charging extra for using services like Skype of Viber which it had planned to in order to push the consumers to buy a special data pack for VoIP.
The move could well and truly be just a temporary one as Airtel has made it clear it is waiting for consultation papers from TRAI about services offered by these IM and VoIP services. The entire statement from Airtel read:
In view of the news reports that a consultation paper will be issued shortly by TRAI on issues relating to services offered by OTT players including VOIP, we have decided not to implement our proposed launch of VoIP packs.
We have no doubt that as a result of the consultation process a balanced outcome would emerge that would not only protect the interests of all stakeholders and viability of this important sector but would also encourage much needed investments in spectrum and roll out of data networks to fulfill the objective of digital India.
This is definitely a good news as far as the general consumer is concerned, but the move could well and truly be just a temporary stop gap before the flood gates truly open.