Info-tech

Net neutrality: Mozilla suggests ‘equal rating’

Adith Charlie Mumbai | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on May 06, 2015

Mitchell Baker

A system wherein some amount of data necessary for modern life is offered at discounted/ no charges while companies paying for it get a “brought to you by’ attribution.





Mozilla Foundation has jumped into the ongoing Net neutrality debate by expressing its reservations on the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s consultation paper in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In a separate blog posting, Mozilla executive chairperson Mitchell Baker has mooted the idea of ‘equal rating’— a system wherein some amount of data necessary for modern life is offered at discounted/ no charges while companies paying for it get a “brought to you by’ attribution.

Last month, TRAI had come out with a consultation paper on the topic of over-the-top (OTT) apps such as WhatsApp and Net neutrality.

In the letter to Modi, Baker said: “A central pillar of Net neutrality and a major contributing force to the internet’s success has been the concept of “innovation without permission”. So it is with great concern that we note the recent consultation paper from TRAI which seeks to establish onerous licensing policies which would increase the costs of creating on the web, thereby discouraging Indian entrepreneurs from building the next internet giant.”

Two-fold suggestion

Mozilla has offered a two-fold suggestion under what it calls the equal-rating system.

The first suggestion implies that companies paying for the services get a “brought to you by” attribution, helping them ‘bring brand value and network effects to companies paying for equal rating’, Baker said. Mozilla is already experimenting on this model with telecom operator Orange in multiple African and West Asian markets where users purchasing a $40 Klif phone receive unlimited talk, text, and 500 MB of data a month for six months.

“Another possible way of “equal-rating” content so it is free-of-charge to the user is a model where people watch ads in order to access other sites,” Baker said in the posting.

Mozilla has been exploring this model in a partnership with Grameenphone in Bangladesh, where users can receive 20MB of unrestricted data per day after watching a short ad in the phone’s marketplace. These models could be replicated in India. TRAI had asked the public’s written views on its draft suggestions until April 24.

Published on May 06, 2015
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