If This Video On Net Neutrality Doesn’t Make You Take Action, I Declare You A Fool.

With the tremendous rise in social media websites, android applications and online music streaming services, internet has become more than a utility – it is a part of everyday life. Have you ever tried to keep track of the amount of data you use up while surfing the net? Or which websites you visit daily? Well, if India’s Internet Service Providers have their way, you might just need to.

These Internet Service Providers are offering packages that will provide some free services, while charging for others, or slow down or speed up certain services according to the deals they have with the respective websites. For example, your data pack might allow you free access to Facebook, but you will be charged for surfing other websites. Here’s what you should know about it:

  • Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication. (Source: Wikipedia)
  • Telecom regulator of India- TRAI, has started the process to prepare regulatory framework on how consumers will have access to the internet
  • According to a Medianama report, Flipkart has signed up with Airtel; Airtel has confirmed that it is launching a platform called Airtel Zero, in order to allow companies to buy data to offer their apps to consumers for free.

So what does this mean for consumers who use internet data packs?

For example, if your service provider has struck up a deal with Flipkart- then you will be able to surf this site for free. However, if you wish to shop from some other site, suppose say Amazon or Myntra etc because there is a sale on it. You will be charged extra for it and the speed of the internet might even be less as compared to what was available to you before, since surfing these websites is not a part of your data plan.

It might seem like the company is being generous and offering free services- but it’s only because the two companies have a deal.

So if this actually happens, you will have to pay extra for surfing websites of your choice. Also, with service providers striking deals with major established companies, this also means that other upcoming websites- be it for music streaming, e-commerce or any other- will get less traffic because of these regulations. Would you go visit another website if you were told you will be charged extra for it? Of course not.

That means that such upcoming innovative websites might not even get to see the light of the day.

Does this make you feel as if you freedom is being restricted? That you need to take a stand against this before it’s too late? Well, here’s what you can do about it:

1. Mail TRAI

Send an email to [email protected] and tell them that you don’t want TRAI to bring any services under a license framework and that TRAI should support net neutrality and not the greedy telcos.

2. Tweet to Prime Minister and RS Prasad

3. Sign this petition

Sign this petition on change.org if you feel that it should be upto you, how you use the internet you paid for!

Mail, tweet and sign the petition before April 24th, 2015. Please raise your voice before it’s too late!

 You can make a difference!

You can find more information here.

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