Internet is the way the world lives now. It has revolutionized the way we procure information, educate, interact, purchase, entertain and conduct business. Net is the one of the few platforms available for free exchange of communication. Today in India Net Neutrality is under the spotlight. Let’s understand the reasons for this debate.
The Telecom Authority of India (TRAI) has floated a consultation paper titled “Regulatory Framework for Over-the-Top (OTT) Services” seeking comments from stakeholders by April 24, 2015. This would entail regulating access to Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, Google Talk, Hike, Ecommerce like Amazon, Flipkart, Online video games and movies (Netflix, Pandora), etc. All the telecom companies are lobbying the TRAI for this law which will change the way we use internet.
How does this affect us you might ask?
Suppose, you purchase wheat from a provision store and the shop keeper charges you one rate if you intend to prepare roti or bread out of it and another if you use it to make khichdi? What if the stores then offered packages for purchase, namely roti only, roti & khichdi pack, roti-khichdi-halwa pack, roti-khichdi-halwa-dalia pack, etc? This is similar to the transformation taking over the internet. Gradually, the telecom companies can charge you separately for different content you access over the internet. They can charge you a basic pack and ask you to pay for any other content you intend to look up or use.
Still not clear? Remember those times, not too long ago, in the era of cable operators, when set top boxes didn’t exist? A monthly fee was all that was needed to watch any channel. Today, we pay for a set top box, customized channel packs and special rates for additional channels. If this law comes to exist, our internet access will be thus controlled and we will end up having to pay more to avail no additional benefit.
This empowers the telecom operators to charge certain content providers for high speed and penalize others who don’t get on board with them, by low speed. So if the e-com giant Amazon has a deal with them, other sites like Flipkart, Jabong, etc. would be slowed down, thus making Amazon the preferred channel for purchase
If you are asking the big question, why do the telecom companies do this? It’s simple, The bottom line, MONEY! But under what pretext are they doing it? The telecom companies argue that they earn revenue only from increased data usage by customers and they don’t get anything, by enabling apps for their customers. Their attempt to squeeze money out of customers to pay the telecom providers instead of the app developers, sounds unfair & illogical.
So what is Net Neutrality?
- Freedom to access all content over the internet without any interference by the telecom operators
- Freedom to access all content at the same speed
What should you do?
Step up before the deadline on 24th April, 2015. Please send a mail to TRAI stating your objections to this controlled browsing. Your support will help curb the unwarranted hassle to customers if this act is not in place. Log on to www.savetheinternet.in and use the respond to TRAI now button to voice your protest to this act.
Your Stand matters, so make it count! More power to Net Neutrality!
DISCLAIMER: The content of this blog is our blogger’s point of view on this topic. This does not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.