Saturday, April 11, 2015

Net Neutrality is Necessary

Everybody understands that charging extra money for some of the favorite apps is not just expensive for consumers but also puts free speech, equal access, innovation and equal opportunity in danger. Actually there is limited bandwidth for each network. If providers start charging for specific apps they will give them preferential treatment by providing them more bandwidth. So you will be left with limited bandwidth for the rest of internet. Moreover, they will throttle the speed of all competitive new apps. This way they will control what apps consumer uses.

Now, internet providers in India are coming up with other tricky plans like 'Airtel Zero' in which consumers have access to some websites for FREE. Sounds Good? Think again.

If allowed, plans like Airtel Zero, are going to destroy the internet in India. Here is how:

1) Every telecom operator will offer something similar to Airtel Zero. The companies that are going gaga over Airtel Zero, including Flipkart, won't only have to pay Airtel. They will have to pay all other operators too if they want to reach all web users in India.
2) The companies that don't pay money to telecom operators will see that their service costs consumers money - and possibly a huge amount of money because even general access to internet may become more expensive. In the long run, these services will lose out to the ones that are already paying money. This will decrease competition, stifle innovation, and eventually lead to fewer choices and higher prices in the market.
3) For now, Airtel says that the Zero data plan just gives start-ups some marketing push. But it is almost a certainty that in the future, start-ups will have to pay more for Zero data plans and any service that doesn't  pay the telecom player will be discriminated against. For example, those who pay will be in the fast lane as opposed to those who don't. It is a slippery slope and once we allow companies like Airtel to go down this route, there will be no end to it.

Check out more details in this video:

What we can do?

In India, TRAI has called for comments from all stakeholders (internet users, internet service providers, telcos, industry bodies among others) so that it can make a decision on subjecting internet services to an additional licensing fee and whether these providers should pay telcos for using their internet pipes. You can share your opinion with TRAI before 24th April, 2015 using this website:


1 comment:

  1. Net neutrality is something that the government of the day must ensure to protect the consumer.if TRAI doesn't take an immediate call on the matter,and curb the plans of the telecos to fleece, the consumer will be the biggest sufferer. Let's raise our voice against it...thanks for writing on this important issue..