The SaveTheInternet campaign is a volunteer led effort to uphold a fair and open Internet. Over 1 million Indian citizens have participated at one point or another in the campaign that was started by a group of like minded individuals across India in May 2015.
In 2014, Indian Redditors began discussing net neutrality when Airtel decided to charge extra for Voice Over IP (VoIP) services like Skype. This discussion led to the launch of netneutrality.in, a website that explained the importance of net neutrality and Airtel’s threat to it. After seeing public outrage and discussion, Airtel withdrew their decision and this marked the first time that the principles of net neutrality gained mainstream media and public attention. This also resulted in the important question being raised around the lack of policy around net neutrality in India.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), after being urged by the public and telecos alike, agreed to a public consultation on the issue of net neutrality. This paper was made public on 27th March 2015.
Save The Internet volunteers created an abridged version of the paper and the campaign went into full swing when savetheinternet.in, a platform to submit comments to the TRAI consultation paper, was launched and pushed out by the comedy collective All India Bakchod.
Through various interventions and with the support of the public, dozens of influencers, organisations, and experts, in early 2016, we won a large part of our net neutrality campaign when TRAI announced that differential pricing would be banned in India.
On March 18, 2019, Internet Freedom Foundation re-activated SaveTheInternet.in. This decision was taken in light of the continous violation of Net Neutrality in the form of website blockings by various ISP's through the months of December, 2018 and March, 2019. SaveTheInternet.in includes a reporting tool for the public to send reports of any blockings or forms of network interference that may be violative in nature. In addition, it provides individuals and organisations with the opportunity to show support to a list of joint demands, which are then sent to the relevant government offices through the “Take Action Petition”. The campaign aims to ensure TRAI and DOT devise the necessitated enforcement mechanisms in efforts to maintain the principles of Net Neutrality in India.