Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on 23 November 2017 made a strong statement in support of net neutrality in the capital at the inaugural ceremony of the Global Conference on Cyberspace (GCCS). Acknowledging that it had come “under serious challenge in many parts of the world, including the United States” Wickremesinghe lauded India’s steps last February to ban zero rating by ISPs.
The principle of net neutrality mandates that all traffic on the internet is treated equally and that ISPs cannot slow down, speed up, or give preferential treatment to certain applications or services, an action that distorts competition. Net neutrality lowers the barriers of entry by preserving the internet as a fair and level playing field and helps more businesses and entrepreneurs thrive online.
Every segment of society was encouraged to speak freely online. As we understood, that it was one important way of building inclusivity not only on cyberspace but also in society at large,” said Wickremesinghe, and quipped, “As a result, today I have become one of the most disreputable and maligned persons in Sri Lanka!