Let India decide on the future of internet

pratap

Pratap Vikram Singh | April 21, 2015


#net neutrality   #net neutrality in india   #net neutrality trai   #net neutrality flipkart   #flipkart  

Network neutrality is all about keeping the internet free and open from the clutches of telecom operators/carriers. The government is expected to finalise a policy on net neutrality in a month’s time. When it actually does, it must keep in mind a few things to protect consumers’ interest and innovation.

No matter what, the telcom operators must not:

1) block access to the content;

2) provision fast lanes for content players who can pay to telcos and slow lanes for others. It must also ensure that zero rating (a new marketing strategy devised by telcos wherein they provide toll free access to customer for partnering online services and collect data fee from the service providers) must distort the level playing field for start-ups or content players without deep pockets.

Internet users have come out in support of strengthening network neutrality. After the telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI) has brought out consultation paper on the same, it has received over 8 lakh emails. An online petition on change.org has been signed by close to 3 lakh people. A video informing users about network neutrality debate has over 9 lakh views.

While a jury is out on the neutrality debate, the telecom operators are saying that they are completely being unheard, and the argument is more emotional, and political, than factual and pragmatic. The network operators are not entirely wrong. Issues including heavy regulation – which causes telecom players to pay over 28 percent of their revenue to the government— lack of spectrum and increasing network congestion due to high bandwidth applications which forces telcos to invest in infrastructure are somewhat being neglected.

While the issue of the net neutrality is being globally debatedm a few countries including the US and Netherlands have opted for strengthening it.

In the United States the communications regulator, FCC, introduced open internet rules in March, which banned blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization by telecom operators. The FCC reclassified internet as a utility. The strict neutrality rules are a culmination of long debate which has spanned over five-six years. 

The US could also does that because its democrat president Barack Obama came strongly backed strengthening the openness of internet. “For almost a century, our law has recognized that companies who connect you to the world have special obligations not to exploit the monopoly they enjoy over access into and out of your home or business,” he said. “It is common sense that the same philosophy should guide any service that is based on the transmission of information — whether a phone call or a packet of data.”

When the FCC invited public comments, it was flooded with 4 million responses.

A half an hour show at HBO shaped the public opinion in favour of strengthening network neutrality in the US. 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' went viral when posted on YouTube ten months ago. The video has been seen over eight million times.

The regulator, however, has allowed zero rating- though without much consideration to distortion of level playing field for start-ups and entrepreneurs.

When the government takes its final call on the future of internet, one hopes that it will ensure that the internet is not fragmented, distorted, and telecom players are not entirely cornered.
 

Comments

 

Other News

Four trends that will shape healthcare post-Covid

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted economies and healthcare systems across the world. Even in the countries like the US that have the highest spend on healthcare and public health emergency preparedness, the impact of coronavirus pandemic on health and livelihoods of people has been tremendous. There are

India to play leading role in global revival: Modi

India would play a leading role in the global revival, prime minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday, as he addressed the inaugural session of India Global week via video-conference. He said that this is closely linked with two factors. “First is - Indian talent and second is India`s

BMC spells out numbers to counter Fadnavis’ claims

The BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) has countered Maharashtra leader of opposition Devendra Fadanvis’s suspicions of fewer Covid-19 tests, as it outlined various measures it has adopted since the first test conducted on February 3, and how it has gradually brought down the number of cases in

Mumbai opts for “most liberal Covid-19 testing” in the world

As part of the four T strategy of trace-test-track-treat, Mumbai – the most affected city in India – has decided to make Covid-19 tests accessible to all. The municipal corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has come out with guidelines allowing all laboratories to conduct RT-PCR (

Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger

In a major development on July 6, the Chinese army started moving back its tents, vehicles as well as troops from locations where disengagement was agreed upon in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley. This is a significant milestone in regional geopolitics with India having been successful in isolating the

Hiranandani Group launches ambitious data centre project

With the Covid-19 pandemic pushing more online activity and the capacity usage of data centres going up, India’s largest data centre (DC) building and the biggest tier-IV data centre, Yotta NM1,the  second largest in the world, has been launched in Mumbai. The launch event on Tue



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter