Twitterati on Monday joined the user industry in hailing the telecom watchdog for ruling in favour of net neutrality, though it meant a loss of face to Facebook and cellular operators.
Minutes after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued an order upholding net neutrality and ruling out discriminatory pricing of data content, twitterati across the country took to micro-blogging to express their views.
Among them were Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who welcomed the ruling and termed it a "big win for internet users in India".
As against Facebook's Free Basics and the country's largest private telecom operator Airtel Zero offerings, the watchdog said "no service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content".
Joining their leader, Congress spokesman Randeep S. Surjewalla and party leader Ahmed Patel welcomed the TRAI decision. "The decision will negate differential data pricing and ensuring #Net Neutrality," Surjewalla tweeted.
"The decision will ensure a free and open internet for all #Net neutrality," tweeted Patel. Leading e-tailor Snapdeal co-founder and chief executive Kunal Bahl said "great to see TRAI backing #NetNeutrality! Let's keep the Internet free and independent".
Taking a pot shot at Facebook's Free Basics, which is against net neutrality, journalist Vir Sanghvi tweeted "rot in hell Free Basics. You can't fool all the people all the time. Good decision by TRAI".
Journalist and former Hindu editor-in-chief Siddharth Varadarajan said "TRAI lays down historic order protecting net neutrality". Mumbai-based anti-corruption crusader Anjali Damani tweeted the order as a big blow to Facebook that was "leaving no stones unturned to get Free Basics programme".
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, however, asked where he could read up on both sides of the #NetNeutrality debate. "Have no idea what the debate is all about & would like to know," the National Conference leader quipped in the tweet.