Save internet- Support Net Neutrality
Over the past couple of weeks a heated discussion on Net Neutrality has come to the forefront in India’s media. In fact, this issue started after Airtel announced plans of charging VoIP calls separately and later snowballed into a larger movement when the company announced free access to Flipkart on its network. Here comes the topic, What Net Neutrality actually means? Is it a serious matter? Does it affect us?
It is the principle that all traffic on the Internet must be treated equally by Internet service providers. It means that Internet service providers should provide us with open networks which means they should not block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those network services. Just as your electric department shouldn’t decide what amount of electricity you utilize for washing machine or television,
Is it a serious issue to be considered?
Well, this is something that affects everyone including you. When all content on the internet is equal all accessible at the speed you’re paying for and once you have an internet connection you have the right to access almost every nook and cranny of the World Wide Web. When you’re not okay with having to pay additional money every month to use apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, Google, Facebook, Skype and all the others you spend a lot of your time, this is definitely an issue that should be taken serious and you should be concerned about.
Who is against Net Neutrality?Who is supporting it?
Airtel wasn’t the only one violating net neutrality laws. The Facebook’s internet.org initiative in collaboration with Reliance also giving free access to several sites to those on Reliance’s network. This move was in the interests of the customers especially those who cannot afford to pay for data packs to access the internet.
After Airtel and Flipkart got suitably lambasted over the former’s Airtel Zero scheme (which the latter pulled out of eventually) companies part of Facebook’s internet.org also started pulling out. As of now Cleartrip, Newshunt, NDTV and the Times Group have announced that they are exiting internet.org. Also other companies such as Housing, Paytm, Groupon India and MakeMyTrip have also come out in favor of net neutrality. Following the exit by the big companies out of internet.org and the general buzz about net neutrality in the country other companies will likely join soon. Mostly for the positive publicity and not necessarily because they believe in net neutrality!!!
What TRAI is all about?
Due to intense lobbying by telecom operators like Airtel and Vodafone, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is planning to allow them to block apps and websites to extort more money from consumers and businesses — an extreme violation of net neutrality.
To have a survey on that, TRAI has released a consultation paper with 20 questions spread across 118 complicated pages and wants you to send them an e-mail by 24th of April, 2015.
What to do to support Net Neutrality?
Let’s make the World Wide Web an open source, where everyone can and should be able to access everything they need after they’ve paid the base internet subscription fee. Let’s choose to not sit idle when net neutrality is threatened. Let’s not be signing up for preferential internet access and not let other users to pay extra. The upcoming reforms on net neutrality may drastically change the way you use the internet which indeed effect us more in the future. So your support will be definitely useful.
To support Net Neutrality all you have to do is visit site http://www.savetheinternet.in/ and answer 20 simple questions and send an e-mail to TRAI, demanding a free, open internet.
As it is also important to educate as many people as you can about this issue and get them to join the movement. Please share this post on your wall and play a part in preserving your ability to do so!