Startups join hands to congratulate the PM for Startup India and Digital India, but stress on the importance of net neutrality to achieve initiatives
25 January 2016: Over 500 startup founders from across India have signed a letter asking for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s continued support for net neutrality.
The letter, released by volunteers at the SaveTheInternet.in Coalition, has 1046 signatories, including 528 startup founders. Signatories include well known entrepreneurs like Vijay Shekhar Sharma of One97 and Paytm, Deepinder Goyal of Zomato, Sairee Chahal of Sheroes, Paras Chopra from Wingify, Santosh Panda of Explara, Manish Vij of the Smile Vun Group, Hrush Bhatt of Cleartrip, Archit Gupta of Cleartax, Avlesh Singh of WebEngage, Abhinav Lal from Practo, and investors such as Mahesh Murthy, Brij Bhasin from Rebright Partners, Navin Honagudi from Kae Capital, Ritesh Banglani from Stellaris, Sanjay Swamy from Prime Venture Partners, Vishal Gupta from Bessemer Venture Partners and Abhishek Gupta from TLabs. Startup ecosystem support bodies such as iSPIRT and Headstart Network have also signed the letter. The entire list is available at http://www.savetheinternet.in/startups-pm-letter/#viewsigns
The letter, released on the eve of the Republic Day, welcomes Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s support for India’s Startup community through Startup India and Digital India, while pointing out that these initiatives aren’t complete without the support for Net Neutrality – a principle that assures Internet Service Providers don’t discriminate for or against online apps and services, on the basis of availability, speed, or cost of access, leaving that choice to the end user alone. The letter is intended to urge the PM to come out and issue a statement in full support of the net neutrality.
“In the wake of the important messages made by you on helping drive forward Startup India, and on the eve of the Republic Day celebration of our nation's commitment to democracy, we are writing to you, seeking your continued support for Net Neutrality.”
This letter comes a few days after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India held an Open House on their Consultation on Differential Pricing, where many startups, web services, policy experts spoke about the importance of net neutrality, and the harms of differential pricing.
Volunteers at SaveTheInternet.in, a coalition of individuals who have been leading the fight for a neutral Internet for almost a year now urge startups to sign the letter. Mitesh Ashar, volunteer at SaveTheInternet and a co-founder of the Headstart Network Foundation, said “Startups are the heart of our country's innovation. They are the ones who are going to solve the problems of tomorrow and make Digital India a success. Differential pricing, which includes zero-rating, will give disproportionate power to platforms and access service providers by giving them the ability to favor some services over others, hence friction for startups.” A copy of the letter and list of signatories is available at: http://www.savetheinternet.in/startups-pm-letter/
For more information, contact:
Kiran Jonnalagadda: 99452 35123
Mitesh Ashar: 81978 66622