The internet, as we know it, is at a great risk.
We have all enjoyed unlimited freedom (Almost! F*ck you 66A). The greed of ISP’s is now forcing the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India) to come up with guidelines to regulate the Internet and Over-the-top players like Whatsapp, Skype, WeChat and so on.
Until date the Internet has run on a simple principle : EVERY APP/SERVICE IS EQUAL.
This implies that, whether you are trying to visit a well established website/service with deep pockets (& a tie up with your ISP) or a website owned by people who do not have enough money, the speed remains the same. The TRAI (Telecom regulatory authority of India) is now looking to change that, owing to pressure from telecom providers (Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, Idea etc.)
What really is NET NEUTRALITY?
Net neutrality is the principle that advocates that all internet traffic must be handled equally. In simpler terms, whether you use the internet to watch a video on YouTube or to watch a video on a lesser known website, the speed must remain same. There has to be NO discrimination whatsoever.
Now lets imagine a 6 way highway, taxis could travel on all 6 lanes without restriction. This has been the way until now, but now the ISP’s want to put up a tool booth from where taxis would be assigned onto certain lanes. 6 out of the 4 lanes would be reserved for taxis that have an agreement with the ISP’s to share profits. These would generally be the companies that are well established and have deep pockets. Meanwhile the rest of the small players (There would be millions of such small players) would have to use the remaining 2 lanes and end up in slow moving traffic.
Now, imagine the situation of the customer:
Since, the taxis owned by big companies have special preference on roads and can reach your destination quicker you have no choice but to use their services even if their a bit on the costlier side. Speed matters, right?
The small companies are thus affected due to the undue advantage the big players have over them.
What should you do to preserve net neutrality in India?
The TRAI has asked everyone to send them their opinion in this regard, the real problem here is the consultation paper is silently hidden on their website and there has been no much noise on it. The way the consultation has been made makes it a big tough for the normal internet user in India to understand and respond to. The worst part is that, most of the tech illiterates DO NOT understand the gravity of the situation since the word net neutrality is new to many.
To keep things real simple for normal people, few activists have setup a website from where you could automatically send a mail to the TRAI within seconds.
WE STRONGLY URGE YOU TO VISIT http://www.savetheinternet.in/ and spend a minute to send a mail to TRAI voicing your support for net neutrality.
For those who want an even simpler/video explaining the current situation, AIB has made a great one lasting around 9 minutes, putting across the gravity of the situation in their own style.
You can watch the video below:
The future looks dangerous, if net neutrality is not maintained the internet is NOT going to remain the same.