Save The Internet: Campaign in support of Net Neutrality

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced.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.

-Kanika Agarwal, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.

Save the internet is a campaign which is running in India against private telecom companies and in support of net neutrality. In an article on 13th of April, 2015 , Zee news quoted major aspects of Net Neutrality. It said “Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source and also all websites can co-exist without hampering others and all websites are accessible at the same speed and no particular website of application is favored.”

But apparently , these aspects of net neutrality is not being followed by the private companies like Airtel , Flipkart , Whatsapp etc. In an article on 14th of April,2015 The Hindu quoted that “Flipkart was one of the partners in the Airtel Zero platform which allowed Airtel’s subscribers to access select websites and services for “zero data charges”, as long as owners of these websites/services paid Airtel.”

Now,  this created a huge controversy which caused Flipkart to revoke this deal. Flipkart now claims that they are in total support of net neutrality. In an article on 14th of April, 2015, The Hindu quoted a statement of Flipkart , “We at Flipkart have always strongly believed in the concept of net neutrality, for we exist because of the Internet. Over the past few days, there has been a great amount of debate, both internally and externally, on the topic of zero rating, and we have a deeper understanding of the implications”

TRAI has issued a consultation paper on net neutrality and has urged public to share their opinion on that by 24th of April, 2015. This definitely shows a responsible side of the government but at the same time their way of communicating the idea to the public is being criticized. They have put up the link of consultation paper on their website in a very small font. Now it’s being marketed by AIB and reaching to the youth in an effective manner. More than 2 Lakh mails have been received by the TRAI as of now.

It’s appreciable that Indian youth is raising voice against monopoly of Telecom companies because they realize that internet is not luxury but utility. However, private companies are playing monopoly in basic utilities as well like power sector. It would have been really beneficial for whole country if youth would have started their campaign from monopoly in actual utilities.

 

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