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Just a month ago, US got its net neutrality rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Net neutrality was a topic of public discussion and the net neutrality supporters were voicing their opinions and protests against the unfair practices of the Internet Service Providers (ISP). Now, it’s the turn of Indian people to fight for the free internet i.e. net neutrality in India. Before digging further into the details of the net neutrality supporters and expectations from the Indian government, let’s tell you the basic meaning of net neutrality.

What is net neutrality? (Click to read the detailed guide)

Net neutrality, or free internet, or open internet, is the equality principle that your internet service provider should treat all your legal traffic in the same way. It means that your internet traffic and applications should be served to you on an unbiased basis. It restricts the internet service providers (ISPs) from charging the content providers for speedier delivery of web pages and contents to you on “fast lanes.”

An ISP is your internet service provider (telecom companies) and content providers are the websites and services that deliver you the content. Read more here!

Status of Net neutrality in India?

India currently doesn’t have an existing net neutrality legislation. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a consultation paper on regulatory framework for over-the-top services (OTT) like WhatsApp, Viber, Skype etc. TRAI has released this paper asking for people’s feedback in the same.

The consultation paper says that these over-the-top services rely on the infrastructure provided by the telecom and broadband service providers and the OTTs compete with the services of the telecom companies. For example, there has been a steep decline in the SMS services after the advent of the Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Hike and other services. Same is going to be seen with calls after the launch of features like WhatsApp calling.

Telecom companies have lobbied against the net neutrality rules demanding the prioritization of OTTs by charging them extra money. The main question up in the consultation paper is:

  1. Should OTTS be licensed? If yes, how? Under current rules or new ones.
  2. Should we leave net neutrality undecided and let the market in future decide its fate?

What you need to do to save the internet in India?

As a part of the consultation process, you have been asked 20 questions that are based on the above mentioned 2 points. You have to send emails to TRAI’s email ID mentioned further voicing your opinion in support or against the net neutrality.

Here is the link to the consultation paper with 20 questions. If the link doesn’t work, you can head to the TNW’s link.

You can respond to these questions put up by TRAI by emailing at [email protected] before April 24.

If you are an India citizen, you are bound get affected by the upcoming net neutrality rules. Mail your opinions and be a part of the process. (Via: NetNeutrality.in)

Stay tuned for more technology and internet news from fossBytes.

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Adarsh Verma
Fossbytes co-founder and an aspiring entrepreneur who keeps a close eye on open source, tech giants, and security. Get in touch with him by sending an email — [email protected]