CPM backs Net neutrality, quotas in private sector

The CPM, in a resolution adopted at the 21st congress of the party condemned the consultation document of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India saying it would only provide telecom companies a “perverse incentive”.



By P S Jayaram

Published: Sun 19 Apr 2015, 10:51 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:39 PM

Hyderabad - The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), demanding declaration of Internet as a public utility, has extended support to the worldwide campaign to preserve Net neutrality. The Left party’s move comes in the wake of the ongoing debate over Net neutrality.

The CPM, in a resolution adopted at the 21st congress of the party being held in the north coastal Andhra city of Visakhapatnam, condemned the consultation document of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), saying it would only provide telecom companies a “perverse incentive” not to expand their infrastructure.

“The more the scarcity, the more the money they (telecom companies) could extract from websites,” the resolution said.

The party congress also called upon the people to join the struggle against the “unholy nexus between telecom and Internet companies.”

Pointing out that the revenue earned by telecom companies from data services, which doubled in 2014, was enough to build the infrastructure, the resolution said:

“Without Net neutrality, companies can offer limited Internet with few services and slow down the sites based on who pays. They can create scarcity after which only big companies and the rich would be able to offer content and services through the Internet.”

The party urged the government to declare the Internet as public utility. The party said: “The basic principle of Net neutrality is that all web-based services/sites should be treated equally by network operators. We condemn the so-called consultation document on Net neutrality by the TRAI supporting the interests of telecom companies,” the resolution said.

Earlier, the party said it favoured reservation for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in private sector jobs and vowed to lead a campaign to mount pressure on the centre to introduce a legislation to help weaker sections who have been bearing the brunt of “neo-liberal economic policies.”

The congress took serious exception to the “blatantly exclusionary and discriminatory” policies being followed by successive governments at the centre towards the rights and entitlements of the people of SC and ST communities.

The meeting demanded that reservation for SCs and STs be extended to the private sector through appropriate legislation besides making allocations for Scheduled Caste Special Component Plan and Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) mandatory through an appropriate law. -news@khaleejtimes.com


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