13 April, New Delhi
The Internet is under threat in India as telecom operators have gone to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, TRAI to allow them to block apps and websites and charge money from both consumers and businesses to the detriment of users.
People from a cross section of society including politicians and celebrities are rallying up to save the Internet in the country. Supporting the campaign to save net neutrality, thousands of Indians have voiced their support and the number is growing by the minute.
Indians have sent over 1 lakh emails to TRAI over the issue through the website savetheinternet.in. The emails have been sent in response to the regulator’s call for public consultation. The scheduled government deadline for sending in feedback will lapse in a week.
The idea of net neutrality or free and equal Internet to all has garnered wide attention from across the globe. While countries like the US, Chile, Netherlands and Brazil have already adopted Net Neutrality that doesn’t allow discrimination of Internet content or charge users differently based on the content, site, or platform they consume and in India, TRAI has also asked for mass feedback to help formulate regulations for consuming the Internet.
Though consumers appear to be majorly in favour of net neutrality, telecom companies are up in arms against the concept owing to the notion that bringing equality of Internet will cut down on their prospective revenue from the Over-the-top, OTT services that are offered through their network, including apps such as WhatsApp, Flipkart, Skype, etc.
Net neutrality means when a service provider sells you data they don’t get to choose how the data is used.
The idea is that the Internet Service Provider, from whom you buy your internet pack, should not under any circumstance be able to control how exactly you use it. It is up to the consumer, how they wish to spend the data that they have bought from the Internet Service Provider.