India’s fight for protecting Net Neutrality against telecom giants gets serious

India’s fight for protecting their rights about using the internet; especially when it comes to freedom to choose and privacy, has become large. TRAI or Telecom Authority of India has disclosed its plans to allow the telecom operators to block certain websites so that they can extort money from customers to access those. A consultation paper consisting of 20 questions has been released by TRAI and people across India are asked to submit their response by 24th April 2015.

Protect Net Neutrality in India

net neutrality india

The Net Neutrality rules are being applied in the United State as well as in Europe. However, Net Neutrality is a new term for Indians and not many know about it. But, to everyone’s surprise, the government wants to freeze the decision even before the people know about it. netneutrality.in and its affiliated website savetheinternet.in are looking to spread awareness and get the reactions of the people to the government before it is too late.

In March 2015, the European Council, that has 28 national governments of European Union members, accepted a proposal allowing telecom companies set prioritization of some “specialized” services that required high quality Internet access to function. This meant that telecom companies would now be able to block or slow Internet services provided by their competitors for their own interest.

Airtel, the leading telecom company in India, intends to launch Airtel Zero, in order to allow companies to buy data to offer their apps to consumers for free. Now this service from Airtel, clearly violates Net Neutrality, something which even the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has acknowledged in its consultation paper announced last week.

Hence, if the decision comes in Airtel’s favor, telecom companies may be free to do traffic shaping – slowing down or speeding up certain services. They can even make some services expensive versus others cheaper, or they can even slice the Internet into types of services, rather than offer access to the Internet as a whole.

As a user, you may have to shell out additional money if you want access to services like Skype and WhatsApp which are apparently in direct competition to Airtel’s messaging and calling services. Though you will still pay the carrier charges for data consumption, there shall be an additional charge for access to services like Skype, Line, WhatsApp and many more that are in direct competition.

Read: State of Net Neutrality in India – What lies ahead!

The Internet has been the revolution in the world of business, allowing startups to grow without making any heavy investment. It has helped people realize their dreams and make a name for themselves. However, with Telecom companies looking to become gatekeepers for accessing internet, many entrepreneur ideas will never get a free field to express themselves. Restricted internet would mean that only big companies that have money would be seen and smaller ones will be at the mercy of others struggling for exposure.

While the absence of Net Neutrality, will benefit telecom companies, it would create a monopoly in the market where big players can bend the rule to benefit themselves.

Are you ready to surrender your internet openness? Visit NetNeutrality.in and submit your response to TRAI right away. The website has been launched to fight against TRAI’s decision. Save the Internet!

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Ankit Gupta is a writer by profession and has more than 7 years of global writing experience on technology and other areas. He follows technological developments and likes to write about Windows & IT security. He has a deep liking for wild life and has written a book on Top Tiger Parks of India.