This video explains Net Neutrality very well.
Simply Put: A Law to support Net Neutrality will make sure that that telecom providers (e.g. Airtel) don’t provide ‘privilege’ access (As in, some websites loading faster / some websites being available for free, while to access others a fee being charged) to some websites which can ‘afford’ to get that ‘privilege’.
Not having a net-neutrality law, spells DOOM for Startups or even less influential companies. Say for example, Airtel decides to grant free access for you to send SMSs via Hike Messenger (An App that they own) and charge you a hefty fee if you want to use any other client, like Line Messenger / WhatsApp. Does the Idea seem outlandish? It isn’t.
In fact Airtel is implementing something similar. “Airtel Zero a platform that’ll allow companies to buy data to offer their apps to consumers for free.” So if my startup isn’t able to provide the hefty fee to offer the my app at the cost I want to, Airtel will charge the consumers the amount they want to for accessing my App. Whereas, My competition might be a big player in the market with a VC Backing or even some company with huge profits, which could pay Airtel to jump to Airtel Zero and have an unfair advantage over my startup which can’t afford the same sum.
A change in the laws (Something that telecomm Operators are lobbying in favour for) may also ensure that some websites load faster than the others.
These seemingly trivial changes can have a big impact on our Internet. This puts out any positive competition for existing big guns in the tech space. There’s a reason why App.net was able co-exist with Twitter, or why Uber, Lyft and Ola Cabs co-exist, or even Flipkart and Infibeam Existing together on the Internet, That reason is that anyone is free to host a website on the Internet. Everyone pays the same money. Everyone gets the same service.
Amazon shouldn’t load slower than Flipkart just because Flipkart payed Airtel to get on Airtel Zero And Amazon didn’t. OR you don’t have to pay Rs. 10-15 per SMS to Airtel for sending a message on WhatsApp and have it sent for free on Hike, just because Hike is owned by Bharti.
Amazon shouldn’t load slower than Flipkart just because Flipkart payed Airtel to get on Airtel Zero And Amazon didn’t
Personally, I feel that Indian tech-startup age might plunge into a very dark phase if Net Neutrality laws aren’t implemented. It’s going to be hard for new Startups to compete with existing services.
It’s going to be hard for new Startups to compete with existing services.
My App LookUp might not have existed if services like Airtel Zero worked, Dictionary.com could easily pay that extra fee to cut out any competition. Imagine you were charged Rs. 100 for searching a word on LookUp and all that money went to Airtel? It would be terrible.
Thankfully though, there may be a way to raise our concerns regarding Net Neutrality. A website called www.savetheinternet.in (It’s a legit website, no petition signing) pre-drafts a response for you in favour of Net Neutrality and allows you to send your response to TRAI, which is currently hearing all arguments in favour / against the matter, the deadline is 24th April.
It’s time that you stop reading this post and visit www.savetheinternet.in to send your response to TRAI.