Internet free calls are being frequently used by people living far away and overseas. DoT panel was of the suggestion that internet calls should be charged a minimum cost for the users. On Friday Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that this decision has not been finalized yet. Also, the government said that they are working on a structured decision and they will come to a conclusion only after looking into views of all the stakeholders. This decision is going to affect the mass highly.
With the advent of technology and internet free calls, people are using it for personal as well as professional work. If the suggestion of DoT panel is implemented well, then all the free calling facilities on WhatsApp and Skype will soon be banned. You will have to pay for them according to the nominal charges. Domestic calls and International calls will be charged accordingly. The panel has also proposed that facilities like Skype and Viber free calls will be charged as per the services offered by the telecom operators. Recently, Prasad was of the view that with the advent of net neutrality, this report is not a concern only for governments but for telecom department as well. The report will be scrutinized entirely by the committee of officers to study details related to net neutrality.
Discussions are been going on regarding free internet calls. People involved in the decision include DoT Advisor for Technology A K Bhargava and officers A K Mittal, V Umashankar, Shashi Ranjan Kumar, G Narendra Nath, and R M Agarwal. Also, the minister has asked the panel to discus about net neutrality in various parts of the world and come up with a strong conclusion after recurring debates. Thus, free internet calls are yet to be finalized. The reports which are made are to be sent to TRAI. After this, a confirmed structured decision will be taken in the interest of most of the people.
Net neutrality plays a vital role here. It means that, be it any company or service provider, equal opportunity is to be provided to all the internet traffic and there should be no biasing when it comes to charges and rates. In this direction, the DoT panel said that international calls and messaging services done through internet need not be regulated. This will help the mass to use service in a better way. Keeping into account all the factors, IT sector body Nasscom stated that if we think about implementing the recommendations, differentiation between Internet-based communication services may lead to breach of users’ privacy.
Many prominent people who have taken an active part in decision of such a big issue are of the view that there is no need to impose costs on internet calling and messaging. In fact, Telecom Watchdog, an NGO and co-petitioner in 2G spectrums, said that the report was actually a policy for the incumbent telecom service providers which can, later on, cause problems when it comes to reaping benefits and profits.