Stop fretting over Flipkart and Airtel Zero: As biggest ecommerce site falls in line
Net neutrality discussion has reached a point where no one actually wants to oppose it. Airtel Zero is being attacked and ridiculed by almost everyone. The pressure has mounted to such a level that even the ones who had signed on Airtel Zero want to get rid of their association with all the benefits that came with it and distancing themselves from Airtelâ€™s very dangerous looking plan.
Indiaâ€™s top ecommerce platform Flipkart had gone with Airtel for its â€˜exciting Airtel Zeroâ€™ where the company would have seen its appâ€™s access provided free of cost to anyone on Airtel network. The company initially openly admitted that it was all for the Airtel Zero.
To be true it didnâ€™t realize as to what sort of disservice it was going to do to its own image in the country besides of course to the very idea of free internet or net neutrality.
Its attitude changed only when thousands of its users said that they will remove Flipkart App and will never shop from its website that it started developing cold feet. Late the shopping siteâ€™s CEO, Mukesh Bansal asserted that it was following long deliberation and has realized that Zero deal with the telecom operator could have compromised â€˜net neutrality in the future.â€™
Flipkart released a statement that said it was reversing its decision. “We at Flipkart have always strongly believed in the concept of net neutrality, for we exist because of the Internet. Over the past few days, there has been a great amount of debate, both internally and externally, on the topic of zero rating, and we have a deeper understanding of the implications. Based on this, we have decided on the following:
We will be walking away from the ongoing discussions with Airtel for their platform Airtel Zero
We will be committing ourselves to the larger cause of Net Neutrality in India. We will be internally discussing over the next few days, the details of actions we will take to support the cause
We will be working towards ensuring that the spirit of net neutrality is upheld and applied equally to all companies in India irrespective of the size or the service being offered and there is absolutely no discrimination whatsoever”