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Now free TV on Gatimaan Express but Does it Violate Net Neutrality?

Indian Railways has roped in Myfree TV to provide free entertainment services on new Gatimaan Express introduced between Delhi and Agra this week, which is slightly tweaked version of what Facebook tried to introduce in India by name Inernet.Org.

MyFreeTV is an offline video on demand service on the new superfast train GATIMAAN EXPRESS, which was flagged off on 5th April 2016.The so-called first semi-high speed train covered about 190 km distance in 100 minutes with a maximum speed of 160 kmph or 10 minutes faster than Shatabdi Express.

MyFreeTV is provided free of cost and offline and online video-on-demand service platform for people without having to pay for Internet usage with connection to MyFreeTV hotspot. It will give its users access to a world of multimedia content such as movies, videos, TV Serials, Comedy Shows, film documentaries, video songs, devotional songs, Dr. Angeli Qwatra’s Safety Training program and much more directly to the users carrying smartphones, tablets or laptops.

MyFreeTV uses Ruckus Wireless – a pioneer in the wireless infrastructure market for seamless and reliable content delivery to its users, at zero cost to the viewers. No retrofitting of display devices; viewers use their own hand-held devices viz., mobile, tablet, laptop, etc. required and delivery of licensed content via an approved, secure digital network is promised. It allows all the information to get transferred wirelessly and displayed on the viewers’ devices.

The system loads content with advertisements just like any regular DTH Service. In the offline mode, the solution targets people who are usually in places where they are alone and their mobile phone is their only companion. "Even otherwise, in cities too, people often want to watch infotainment content, but due to the high cost of data services of cellular networks and poor connectivity do not use their phones," said the company.

"It is designed to deliver reliable high performance streaming for multiple, concurrent and multimedia devices. While the users effortlessly connect to Wi-Fi via a secure local network, MyFreeTV takes care of everything else," said the company in a statement.

Sandeep Arya, Managing Director at MyFreeTV, said, “People get bored while waiting, not knowing how to pass time, can now stream entertainment content on their phones or tabs without paying for internet charges when connected to MyFreeTV…A key feature is International Safety expert Dr. Angeli Qwatra’s Safety training program provided on MyFreeTV which imparts skill to viewers for preventing and tackling daily life accidents and help building capacity among masses for preparing for larger disasters.”

It remains to be seen whether the facility is within the acceptable norms of Net Neutrality or circumvention of the established practise of net connection in the guise of free entertainment.

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