By: Keyur Seta
The support for Net Neutrality is slowly but surely spreading far and wide around the country. This isn’t surprising because it will be absolutely terrible and capitalistic if TRAI and service providers have their way. However, there are still a large number of netizens who are unaware about the whole issue and the reason for such an uproar against it.
So, here is a simple explanation of the same for them:-
How did everything begin?
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) presented a document on March 27, which proposed that telecom companies would be given a chance to make extra money out of 21 apps like Skype, Facebook Messenger, Whats App, Viber, etc. Basically, this contains all apps through which we chat, buy products and send photos, videos and audio.
The reason for such a proposal, according to TRAI, is that mobile companies are facing huge losses due to these aforementioned apps as people are able to talk, chat and send and receive data for free. For example, using Whats App has cut down on revenue earned through SMS and profit earned through ISD calls has cut down due to Skype and so on.
What will happen if this proposal is passed?
– Telecom operators will categorize internet into different segments. You will have to pay for every segment, apart from paying your normal internet service charge.
– If your telecom operator fixes a deal with an online retailer company X, you would be able to access the website of company X with good speed without any issues. However, this will also mean that the website of another retailer company Y might load slowly since it doesn’t have a deal with your telecom operator. Hence, as the website of company Y will open slowly or maybe won’t open, you will be forced to shop from company X.
– If a new emerging player joins the market, it will be next to impossible for him/her to run business successfully since big players will crush him/her due to their deal with the telecom operator.
– Airtel had recently come up with Airtel Zero service through which it tied up with FlipKart. Through this deal, the public won’t have to pay for the internet. Airtel will receive money from FlipKart. But if you try to use other services like Amazon or SnapDeal, you will have to pay. But due to the huge public outrage, FlipKart has backed out of Airtel Zero plan.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net Neutrality is the freedom to go to any website or use any online service without any restrictions whatsoever. It is a freedom that is provided to netizens and it should remain with them come what may!
What you can do to keep Net Neutrality alive?
– TRAI has put this matter up on their website and has asked for people’s responses. However, it is a barbaric 118 pages long document that is hidden in small font on their home page and that too with a title as ‘Consultancy Paper for Regulatory Framework for OTT (Over the top) Services’. Now, how would a user know that this Sanjay Leela Bhansali-like lengthy title is asking for your response on Net Neutrality? Even if s/he realizes it, do you expect that person to read 118 pages of technical stuff?
– But there are some truly kind souls who have made things terribly easy for us. They have come together and created the website – http://www.savetheinternet.in/. Just visit the site and click on the tab ‘Respond to TRAI now’ and you can send a mail to TRAI demanding Net Neutrality. It takes hardly a minute! Seriously, may God bless them!
– Keep spreading the word about Net Neutrality on social media, blogs, mass mailers, general discussions, etc. So go ahead please, soon!