coTo start with, what is Net Neutrality? It is the principle that all data on the internet is treated equally. Everything has equal priority when served to the consumer. The US Government wants to kill it. Why? For the greedy Broadband providers who want to make more money. What happens when there is no net neutrality? The ISPs will have the power to choose which data is more important than the others though all the consumers pay the same price.

The broadband providers would recognise most of the consumption of data is from sites like YouTube and Netflix. So, they demand those services to pay them money to serve data to their consumers. Is this a joke? Consumers pay service providers. It’s not like the broadband is free. People pay for using these services and the provider just won’t give them?

In 2012, Bharati Airtel, a telecom provider said that it should be getting interconnection charges for data services, adding that content services companies like Google and Yahoo are making money at the cost of telcos, which had actually invested money in setting up data pipes. I am having a hard time in trying to believe that one of the world’s biggest companies would come up with such bullshit. “Making money at the cost of telcos?” – Do you even hear yourself? I pay for my Broadband connection so that I can use those services and not the other way around.

What happens now? Either Netflix pays or they don’t. If they pay, Netflix would not be able to make any money from their subscriptions. So, they’d overcharge their customers. If Netflix does not pay, the broadband providers would increase the subscription costs for their customers if they wanted to use Netflix or worse block Netflix completely. Either way, both the consumer and Companies get affected because the Broadband companies want to make more money when they are already making a lot.

I would say imposing Net Neutrality is a crime. Internet is a commodity just like water and air. You can pay some money to use them. But you can’t let companies tell you to pay the money they want if you need good water when you’re already paying the taxes.

What are our options now?

  1. We protest and do not let the Bill go through just like SOPA.
  2. Bigger Companies like Google and Netflix protest against them and not pay up. People use internet for these services. When these services are not available on a particular Broadband Provider, people are going to unsubscribe.
  3. When the above point happens, what better way for Google to push their Google Fibre? It would be cheaper for these bigger companies to start their own service instead of paying up to the greedy Broadband Companies.

 

When this happens, the Internet’s role as a tool for innovation would start disappearing. This would seriously affect the future and present startups. The bigger companies like Netflix and Google can pay up. What about the smaller companies which make razor-thin profits to serve their customers? This would take us back to the days in 1990s when Internet was just getting started.

Here in India, Airtel and Vodafone have been pushing for anti net neutrality for some time now. Airtel is very has been demanding Google to pay up for they are offering YouTube.

Hope this does not happen and people who are responsible for this come to their right senses.

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Managing Editor at Techzei.

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