You might have noticed that the term Net neutrality is lately occupying headlines. Guessing the meaning of Net neutrality is not a difficult thing but it is still important to know what exactly it is, how it affects our day-to-day life, and how, if not allowed, it can affect up our Internet freedom.
By definition, Net neutrality means ISPs (Internet service providers) should allow access to all content and applications available on the net regardless of the source, and without favouring or blocking particular products or websites. Now, depending on government policies, there always is a chance that certain content is blocked or restricted only to limited viewers.
The reason we see more people talking about net neutrality these days is the recently publicized consultation paper by TRAI which proposes curtailing of net neutrality by different means. It is good, therefore, to get familiar with net neutrality as we could be hearing more on it in the future. It would be a good idea to visit this page and sign the letter.
To put it out straight, if there is no net neutrality, the Internet won’t function as we’ve known it too. It will mean Internet Service Providers (ISP) will be able to charge companies like YouTube or Netflix as they consume more bandwidth, and eventually the load of the extra sum will be pushed to the consumers. Similarly, ISPs can then create slow as well as fast Internet lanes, which will mean all websites cannot be accessed at the same speed and one can do so only on paying an additional sum. For instance, currently, you have a standard data package and access all the content at the same speed, irrespective of whether its an international website or desi. Similarly, ISPs can also charge extra for the free calls you make using services like WhatsApp, Skype and others, and eventually the load of additional payable sum by the OTT players will be pushed onto consumers.
Net Neutrality is extremely important for small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs, who can simply launch their businesses online, advertise the products and sell them openly, without any discrimination. It is essential for innovation and creating job opportunities. Big companies like Google, Twitter and several others are born out of net neutrality. With increasing Internet penetration in India and given that we are becoming a breeding ground for startups and entrepreneurs, the lack of net neutrality should worry us greatly. Besides, it is very important for freedom of speech, so that one can voice their opinion without the fear of being blocked or banned. Read full article at What is net neutrality and why it is important in India – Tech2
“If we want to maintain and enhance the Internet as an engine for growth, we must ensure that companies providing access should not be able to block, throttle, or otherwise restrict legal content and services of their users online, be it for commercial or political motivation. Of course, it is not just about blocking and throttling. It is also about stopping ‘positive discrimination’, such as when one internet operator favours one particular service over another. If we don’t explicitly outlaw this, we hand immense power to telcos and online service operators. In effect, they can become gatekeepers – able to handpick winners and the losers in the market and to favour their own sites, services and platforms over those of others. This would crowd out competition and snuff out innovative new services before they even see the light of day.” Read full article at In support of net neutrality: Airtel Zero will make Internet a luxury for Indians – Tech2