Debates on Net Neutrality has been spreading at a frantic pace for the past few months in the Indian internet sphere. On March 27, in response to pressure from telcos and their lobby COAI, TRAI has went ahead and brought up a consultation paper on
- Should OTTs be licensed. If yes how? Under current rules or new ones.
- Should we leave net neutrality undecided and let the market in future decide its fate?
How does consultation process work?
In this case we, the public have been asked 20 questions based on the above two points mentioned. People have to send emails to a TRAI prescribed email ID in support of or against net neutrality. Time will be provided for counter comments from April 24 to May 8. Some of us have formed a team to see to it that this doesn’t happen. For that we need help from our fellow citizens. A single email from you to TRAI email ID (provided for this purpose) viz., firstname.lastname@example.org supporting net neutrality and against differential pricing, different speeds for various services is much needed and can make a big difference.
If a lot of mails to the tune of lakhs don’t go to TRAI, then our worst fears can come true –
Telecom Service Providers Entering into Agreements
Say it’s a “big sale day” of Amazon and Flipkart and you are an Airtel customer. Now Airtel can strike a deal with Flipkart for greater speeds on their network. Due to this you wouldn’t be able to make a purchase on Amazon from another ISP for an item that may be cheaper as the speeds would be so slow which may even prevent you from logging in.
Curbing free speech would turn easier!
Governments will no more need draconian laws to curb on free speech. They can just ask the operators to make sites that are critical of its policies much more costly and also clamp down on speeds in such a way that they don’t load properly. Telcos with vested interests from the governments may happily oblige.
Can you make a difference?
Well a classic bizzare question!!! You and only you all can make a difference depending on the sheer number of emails you will send in support of net neutrality will save the day for the Internet in India. Should you choose to stay silent today and think that things will eventually sort out then know well it won’t. Deep pockets may become a necessity to enjoy video streaming and high speed downloads. Be prepared to face discrimination because your access to services on the internet will be judged by your mobile operator based on if you are its premium subscriber or not.
Do you want this to happen? If not, please support us.
- Head over and sign this change.org petition Sign up to save Internet from greedy telcos and biased TRAI
- Send emails to email@example.com with content as to how such a law from TRAI would effect an internet user like you and mention that you don’t want TRAI to regulate OTTs or bring any services under a license framework. Also add that TRAI should support net neutrality and not the greedy telcos.
- Tweet to @rsprasad and @PMOIndia supporting net neutrality.
- Send emails to Sandeep at sandeepch6687[at]gmail.com if you need any clarity on how badly this would affect you or how you can stop this. If you are ready to support us via emails let me know. Later in the coming weeks we will send out specific draft that also needs to be sent to TRAI. For the time being please raise your voice by signing up the petition in large numbers and sending mails to TRAI before April 24.
Save Open Internet. Citizens of India, it’s time that we stand united and protest against bureaucratic attempt to serve Corporations and to bleed the common man.
This article was contributed by Mr. Sandeep Pillai who works as a software developer and is passionate about mobiles and telecom sector. Sandeep is also an activist in the net neutrality space.