The internet’s success in bring up innovation, access to knowledge and liberty of speech is in major part due to the principle of net neutrality– the idea that internet service providers(ISP) give their customers equal access to all authorized websites and services on the web, without giving preference to any website over another.
Due to intense gateway by telecom operators like Airtel and Vodafone, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is planning to allow them to block apps and websites to get more money from consumers and enterprises– an extreme violation of net neutrality.
TRAI has released a consultation paper with 20 questions circulated across 118 complicated pages and wants you to send them an e-mail by 24th of April, 2015.
Join us in fighting for net neutrality. Let’s remind TRAI that their job is to protect the rights of consumers, not the profit margins of telecos. Let’s demand access to the free, open internet.
Telecom operators are worried primarily because of the excessive use of internet leading to blockage and bandwidth problems. 10 % of mobile users actually consume 90 % of operators’ bandwidth. Internet companies are not in favour of regulation that could shift the balance in favor of telecom operators, but are supporting laws to keep the internet open.
What is Net Neutrality (NN)?
Net Neutrality means that telecommunication operators must handle all internet traffic on an equal basis. It has been recommended that to ensure a thriving and neutral Internet, the following issues need to be addressed:
i. The Internet must be kept open and neutral. Reachability between all endpoints connected to the Internet, without any form of limitation, must be maintained.
ii. All data traffic should be treated on an unbiased way no matter its sender, recipient, type, or content. All forms of discriminatory traffic management, such as blocking or throttling should be prohibited.
iii. Network service providers should stop from any interference with internet users’ freedom to access content (including applications of their choice).
iv. There should be restricted use of packet inspection software (including storage and re-use of associated data) to control traffic.
v. Full information on acceptable traffic management strategies and justifications for the same must be reachable and available to the public. Telecom operators should be transparent and responsible to any changes in practices.
vi. Non-neutral treatment of traffic for “voluntary” law enforcement purposes must be prevented unless there is a legal basis for it.