Internet in India is currently facing one of the biggest threats ever since its inception in our country. And it’s none other than the government of India, which has left a sword hanging on the neck of the entire concept on which the internet was built. It was neutrality, evenness or in simpler words, a place which is equal for everyone.
Telecom operators in association with TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) are all set to ruin this neutrality forever.
Telecom giants like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, will bring in a new concept where data consumption and load time will vary from website to website. The websites which will have tie ups with these telecom operators, will be easily accessible by the users and at a cheaper rate. This means, the websites which don’t have the resources to fill the huge pockets of these greedy operators will be completely sidelined from the face of the internet.
You will no longer have the option to choose the website you want to visit, it will be like Airtel will give you orders, ‘Only use Flipkart for shopping and not Amazon or Jabong’.
From 24nd April, the operators will have the right to charge whatever amount they want, for whichever website they want, and whenever they want, without any logic or explanation whatsoever. The whole situation looks like as if TRAI is telling to the operators, “Ye lo bhaiyya, aapka hua internet…jaise marzi aaye chala lo.”
If nothing is done to stop them right now, the future of internet in India will be doomed forever. Everyone of us has to make our voices heard if we want change. The easiest way to that is go to http://www.savetheinternet.in/ and submit your response directly to the TRAI.
The telecom operators of USA and Netherlands also tried doing the same thing. And the entire nation stood against them made sure that this idea was completely off the table. If we also want to compete with these developed nations, we have to realize how little things like these are so important for a country’s progress.
Leave alone country’s progress for a second, and let’s discuss about simpler things like the future of new websites and apps.
Do you think online start-ups and websites will ever get a chance to make it big if these telecom operators succeed in lobbying the TRAI?
The answer is a straight NO.
Do you remember the time when all we had in the name of social networking websites was Orkut? Imagine if this new scheme would have come into the picture 10 years back. And Orkut would have made sure that all you ever use was Orkut. Loading websites like Facebook and Twitter would have taken too much time and data, do you think they would ever have managed to throw out Orkut?
Obviously they couldn’t have done it. The internet is constantly changing and we cannot allow an Airtel or a Vodafone to hamper its pace. Who knows what apps and websites might be in store for us in the next couple of years. I don’t want to use Facebook just because my telecom operator wants me to.
It’s not just about the smaller websites, as a user, you can be deprived of some of your favorite websites as well if the telecom operator decides to do so. Lets take a case where Airtel makes its video app, Wynk, free and YouTube buffering very slow and costly, just because it wants to popularize its app. Does this make any sense at all?
It is like the electricity board is telling you to buy Samsung washing machine if you don’t want a huge electricity bill. Data charges should be solely based on the amount of data consumed, and not depend on the source from where this data is consumed.
Now lets hear the argument of telecom operators as to why they are coming up with this stupid idea. Their main concern is that they don’t get a cut from the apps and websites which people use. Did Airtel create Whatsapp or Facebook, that it wants a cut from them? The telecom operators earn from the data which people consume, now if they feel that it’s not enough for them and they want more, then that’s not my our problem.
It is like blackmailing the websites to pay extra to the telecom operators if they want their websites to be prioritized. Flipkart has already succumbed to this and is supporting Airtel as it wants it’s app to be the only one which people use. This is the height of black mailing which can be done openly.
If we allow this to happen, I don’t think even Rise for India will be able to manage its existence. We cannot strong-arm other websites, but other powerful websites can do that to us. The internet is an even battlefield for all the websites and applications, let’s not make it uneven.
Please share this information and let more and more people be aware of the huge Tsunami which may come if we don’t take a stand today. Comment on this article and let us know how strongly you feel about it and share it with others as well with the hashtag #savetheinternet and #netneutrality. Let us all Rise for the freedom of Internet in India together!