What if the companies like Facebook and WhatsApp starts charging extra bucks for their site and app access as an add-on to your internet packs. What if you’re blocked to certain websites and get tied up to only those which are allowed by a particular ISP. Sound terrible isn’t it? Only thing that could help us all, not to face that kinda’ situation is NET NEUTRALITY. Believe me, you will not like you ISP Menu be looking like so.
If there is no net neutrality, ISPs will have the power (and inclination) to shape internet traffic so that they can derive extra benefit from it. For example, several ISPs believe that they should be allowed to charge companies for services like YouTube and Netflix because these services consume more bandwidth compared to a normal website. Basically, these ISPs want a share in the money that YouTube or Netflix make.
Without net neutrality, the internet as we know will not exist. Instead of free access, there could be “package plans” for consumers. For example, if you pay 500 bucks, you will only be able to access websites based in India. To access international websites, you may have to pay extra. It’ll be like you have to pay 10 bucks for a cup of coffee and 5 bucks extra for some sugar. Maybe there can be different connection speed for different type of content, depending on how much you are paying for the service and what “add-on package” you have bought.
Lack of net neutrality, will also spell doom for innovation on the web. It is possible that ISPs will charge web companies to enable faster access to their websites and for those who don’t pay may see their websites taking a bit long to open. This means bigger companies like Google will be able to pay more to make access to YouTube or Google+ faster for web users but a startup that wants to create a different and better video hosting site may not be able to do that. Instead of an open and free internet, without net neutrality we are likely to get a web that has silos in it and to enter each silo, you will have to pay some “tax” to ISPs.
Who regulates this?
Trai, or Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, regulates all Internet access in India, and is currently in the process of forming the guidelines for all OTT players – essentially apps and services that operate over telco infrastructure like the Internet – that also includes subjects like net neutrality and zero rating.
What can you do to help?
The regulator is seeking the views of all stakeholders by April 24 – that includes consumers like you – and you can send your comments to [email protected] to let the regulator know where you stand.
You can visit www.savetheinternet.in and mail the petition pre-typed in favor of implementing Net Neutrality.