Net Neutrality And Why it Matters To Every Indian Internet User

Net Neutrality is a very crucial topic which needs to be discussed now more than ever

If you are one of those people who have watched AIB's latest video, or those whose social media feeds are filled with #savetheinternet, or neither, you really need to pay attention.

TRAI(Telecom Regulation Authority of India) quietly released a 'Consultation Paper' regarding 'Over The Top(OTT)' services on 27 March 2015, seeking comments on it.
What this 'Consultation Paper' stated was that services like Whatsapp, Twitter, Viber, Skype, Snapchat etc (Which are termed in the paper as OTT services) are causing loss of profit for telecom services like Airtel, Vodafone etc. So why does it matter? Because what the paper's one-sided-ness showed was the pressure these companies are putting on TRAI to destroy the internet as we know it. In other words, they want to end NET NEUTRALITY.

What Is Net Neutrality?


net neutrality

Net Neutrality, or Internet Neutrality or Net Equality is a concept of an Internet that is free from restrictions. The concept, in layman terms, means:
  • People should have the right to browse any website or service they want on the Internet
  • All the content should be treated equally, meaning there should not be any discrimination on the Web
  • Once you buy an Internet connection, you should be able to browse any content without any extra charges or slowing down of the connection.
While this concept of an Open Internet is not new, it has recently gained traction because of the visible actions of various providers to give an unfair advantage to various apps. For example: Airtel recently decided to charge for calls on Skype, Viber etc(VOIP calls) stating that their 'revenue was decreasing'. Altough they did not apply the plan, it showed what the telecom companies are trying to do.

Why Should I Care?


net neutrality


You should care because if TRAI does not get much feedback by 24th April, it will consider listening to the Telecom operators. Which will mean quite a few things
  • You will have to pay for various services like Youtube, Whatsapp, Viber etc separately.
  • Sites that have paid your internet provider will load fast, while others will load very slow.
  • You may not be able to access many websites at all.
This literally destroys the Internet we all love to use. THIS MUST NOT HAPPEN!

Why Isn't Anybody Doing Anything About It?


Many Internet activists have raised their voices against this, but they all have been on deaf ears. Many Indians don't even know what problems this would cause. Many others don't want to care, and when they will, it will be too late.

What Can I Do About It?


You can raise your voice against TRAI and the Internet providers. Go to www.savetheinternet.in, write your Name and E-mail address. Done. An E-mail will automatically be sent to TRAI regarding net neutraility.

What a satirical point of view? Check out AIB's video on Net Neutrality below