The term, Net Neutrality, was originally used by Tim Wu (Columbia university professor) in 2003. It is the principle that telecom companies, Internet service providers & government should not differentiate on data access on the internet. Internet was configured to only provide a connection between two devices without favoring any particular technology, industry or service provider. This is the essence of neutrality of the internet. For example, a service provider should not provide greater access speed to a website on the basis of higher payment from that website.
What is Problem?
Consumers pay for access to the internet & not to get better access to selected web-sites. The ISP might want to charge a fee from that website for giving preferential treatment. Net neutrality means that ISPs should not be able to treat different applications & content in different ways. Letting them treat this differently is like letting the taxi driver charge you more if you are going to restaurant than if you are going elsewhere. Nor can he take a cut from one restaurant and give you free ride if you are going to particular restaurant.
Telecom companies & ISP are arguing that they have not been making capital because of drop in SMS revenue due to chat services like Whatsapp, Hike & others. But the Telecom companies have not provided evidences to prove it.
What are benefits of Free Internet?
Because internet was free,
– Google’s Gmail was able to beat Microsoft’s Hotmail
– Facebook was able to beat Google’s Orkut
– A free open source – Wikipedia service flourished
If Internet remains free,
– Winners will be picked up by Consumers & not ISPs
– Start-ups will not fight unfair access rules
– Innovation will flourish
– Established e-commerce companies will have to think of competition eventually benefiting customers.
How other countries are dealing?
Several countries in world have already put laws in place to ensure net neutrality.
Chile is the first country to pass a law to establish a net neutrality law in 2010. Netherlands was first country in Europe to enact a net neutrality law in 2011. Brazil was another country who passed legislation to effect an ‘Internet law’ in year 2014. In Feb 2015, Federal communications commission laid down new rules on net neutrality banning ISPs not to slow down or provide faster access to particular websites.
What you can do for net neutrality?
One can go to http://netneutrality.in & lodge the protest for net neutrality. The purpose is to aid supporters of strong net neutrality in expressing their thoughts on the subject in a legally accurate style, to submit a response to the TRAI before the deadline on 24 April 2015.