On December 25, 2014, Airtel, the country’s largest mobile operator with over 200 million active subscribers, dropped a bombshell: it wanted to charge customers extra for using services like Skype, Viber and Google Hangouts even though they had already paid for Internet access. If customers wanted to use a service that used Internet data to make voice calls — something known as VoIP — they would need to subscribe to an additional VoIP pack, the company said.
Airtel was double-dipping and customers were furious. The tweets flew thick and fast. In less than four days, Airtel backtracked on its plans. It would wait, it said, for a consultation paper about net neutrality that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) would publish soon.