Favouring net neutrality internet users join hands online
GN Bureau | April 13, 2015
Debate about net neutrality is trending across the internet. And many of us have ignored it and scrolled down thinking it may not affect us.
At present, we are enjoying the internet as free and as full as possible. We are able to access any site without being charged extra. However, the telecom regulatory in India is recommending that it should change, which means there will be no freedom to consume the web. Users will have to shell out more. It will allow discrimination of internet content and charge users differently based on the content and site they choose to browse. Mobile operators are recommending the regulation of certain apps and services like Whatsapp, YouTube, Skype, etc. This means that if it happens, we will be charged separately for using them even if we have paid for the internet data packs.
Realising the implications, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked for mass feedback to formulate the guidelines on internet usage in the country and that could change the way internet will be used in future.
This 117-page document called Consultation Paper on Regulatory Framework for Over The Top (OTT) services, describes what net neutrality would mean for our country and how it will affect our internet consumption. It has asked 20 questions from the internet users and the deadline for the submission is April 24.
Across the web, netizens are in favour of net neutrality. A group of internet users on www.savetheinternet.in have in fact prepared a readymade template of the answers in response to the 20 questions asked by TRAI. The answers are in favour of net neutrality. One can chose to edit these answers and send it to TRAI in just two clicks. This response to TRAI is being circulated across the internet. Even celebrities have endorsed net neutrality sharing this link. Savetheinternet.in has received the support of over 36.8 K users over Twitter, 1.5 K users over Google+ and 131 K users over Facebook.
Meanwhile, 1,55,141 people have already signed an online petition at www.change.org asking union telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to act against the violation of net neutrality.
In its bid to support the cause of net neutrality and spread awareness, the AIB has posted a video on YouTube.
Net neutrality or free and equal internet to all has got wide attention across the globe. Countries like the US, Chile, Netherlands and Brazil have already adopted net neutrality that doesn't allow discrimination of internet content.
Earlier telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted that A committee has been set up in Dept. of Telecom to look into net neutrality.
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