What is Net Neutrality & What you can do about it [India]

Net Neutrality India“Net Neutrality”, this is the word we can hear (see) on Internet these days on all social networking and micro-blogging sites. This is one of the most important topics on Internet. And now, it is for Internet users in India as well.

 I have seen many of my friends, people on social networks who don’t really clearly understand what Net Neutrality is. Before going to the main issue,  lets get cleared with some basics:

What is Net Neutrality?

Net neutrality (also Internet neutrality, or net equality) is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.

In simple words, Telecom operators/ISPs are access services providers, and can control either how much you access, what you access, how fast you access and how much you pay to access content and services on the Internet. It’s important for access to knowledge, services and free speech, as well as freedom and ease of doing business online, for this access to be neutral:

  • All sites must be equally accessible
  • The same access speed at the ISP level
  • The same data cost for access to each site.

So basically, our ISP cannot decide which website to show and which one to block, they cannot slow down or speed up the access speed for specific website and so on.

 What is TRAI?

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is the independent regulator of the telecommunications business in India.

The main objective of Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of India is to create a transparent and fair policies in telecommunication services to encourage fair competition in this business to involve domestic and foreign players.

What is the problem?

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.

So what happens if these telecom operators get successful in what they are trying to do with TRAI:

For average consumers

  • Your ISP will decide which website to show, which to block, when to show, with what speed to show
  • You might have to pay to visit individual websites, apps and to use there services;
  • You might have to pay extra to access individual sites with better access speed;

For online businesses, bloggers etc

  • They might have to pay to show their blogs/sites to all the consumers;
  • Net neutrality ensures small businesses are able to compete with larger companies. With both having the same access to the Internet, they are able to have the same opportunities for their businesses. If net neutrality is eliminated, small businesses may not be able to afford to share content and therefore, unable to compete with their larger competitors.
  • For companies that can’t afford the more expensive fees, possibly small businesses, they would be subject to a slower website than larger competitors – effectively squeezing smaller companies out of the marketplace.

Awesome guys from AIB have made a very explanatory video to help us understand what is Net Neutrality:

What you can do about it

Guys at the back on SaveTheInternet.in are working very hard to stop this from happening, you can give your contribution too.

Log on to SaveTheInternet.in and send the email

Visit the site : SaveTheInternet.in and click on the button which says “Respond to TRAIL now” and tell them that we need net neutrality. From Laptop, Computer, you can copy the contents of the email and send it to the given email addresses. The drafted email was created as a collection of the best arguments that may be made in favour of net neutrality, in the framework of the TRAI consultation paper.

If you are on mobile, just hit the “Respond” button and you will be taken to the email application from where you can send the email by tapping on the send button.

Save The Internet

You can help by raising awareness

Most of the people on Internet don’t know about this issue going on in India. Make videos, write blogs and articles, share through messages, write posts on Facebook (pages, groups), tweet with #NetNeutralityIndia and #SaveTheInternet on twitter explaining the issue or sharing links to the helpful articles.

Tell this to your friends, family, relatives and ask them to send the email.

Last date for sending email response is 24 th April 2015

Defend Internet Freedom in India!

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Abhishek Balani

A full stack developer, sometimes designer, passionate coder, tireless knowledge seeker, curious learner. I have a strong passion for new technologies, very autodidact and love to build new things from the ground up. Having 5+ years of dynamic experience accumulated from working in early stage startups to mid-sized organizations in Agile environment. Skilled in Python and related frameworks, React.js, Databases, Hadoop, Elastic Search and various AWS Services like Boto3, API Gateway, Lamda, EC2, EMR, CloudWatch.

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