Internet Neutrality

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the recent debate on internet neutrality. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Yogesh Suthar, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Telecom companies and regulator Trai is pressing hard for the changes in the way we use internet. Why? Till now telecom companies are providing voice services with call rate charges that provide them huge margin. But in today’s modern world other internet services are providing the voice over the internet service with just tiny internet charges. This has lead to the downfall in the revenue and margin of the telecom companies.

Now here is what they want now. They want to charge differently based on what you are doing on the internet. If you are using some popular site then you could be charged more and if they want to promote something you would be given free access to those sites.  This would have a great impact on the users of internet and some companies like start-ups that don’t have money muscle power to promote themselves. This will eventually break the neutrality.

Telecom companies argue that they have invested a lot of money building the infra structure and should get return out of it.  They argue that while they have invested in the bandwidth and infrastructure other internet companies are making money by providing services like VOIP. So we should be able to charge how so ever we want. Instead of innovating in the business they are just crying foul and want to charge big money to the consumer.

Now Trai has asked for the public opinion about this issue but so few among us know that something like of this nature is going on.  If Trai doesn’t get much response from the public it will might go ahead and allow the companies to do so. Many internet activists are protesting against this and one popular YouTube channel AIB has also explained it to the general public to spread the awareness. So the real picture and future of the internet will be clear after the closing of public opinion option on the issue this April.

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