From many days, we are battling against the Indian telecom regarding net neutrality in India. Anyhow, we are paying the monthly fee to telecom operators for accessing internet data of our choice. But now, the telecom companies like Airtel, Reliance, etc. wants us to bill more for accessing specific no. of sites like Google, YouTube and apps like WhatsApp, Skype. The ‘internet.org’ initiative taken by Facebook looks good at initial level.
But when I dig deeper, I found that, only those few number of sites, apps will be getting benefits not the millions of others on the internet. In internet.org project, Facebook has given us the free access to specific no. of sites via Reliance Telecommunications but if you want to access others, you’ve to pay more. This is absolutely against the principle of Net Neutrality.
The net neutrality can be defined as the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.
Same thing Airtel was trying to do by bringing Airtel Zero product in the market. Where you will get access to some sites/ apps for free. But if you want to access others, you have to pay extra $$$. Flipkart was also trying to be in that plan, But somehow because of people’s criticism, opposition to the concept by rating down the Flipkart App on Google PlayStore, Apple store and few other circumstances, its stopped. TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has given us the time till 24’th April 2015 to convey our message to them. You can download TRAI consultation paper (written in very complex manner 🙁 ) and send your reply to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can also go to savetheinternet.in and click ‘Respond to TRAI now’. Login to your email account & send the email. You can also edit if you want. The video by AIB (Popular YouTube Channel) explains about Net Neutrality in very good manner.
Why are these telecom companies doing these?
According to them, the OTT (Over The Top) services like WhatsApp, Skype directly impact their calls and SMS revenue negatively. According to me though they are impacting voice calls and SMS revenue negatively, they are also increasing their data revenue. Airtel had net profit of Rs 1,436.5 crore in the third quarter of 2014-15. So, I think its just game of Greed.
Whats bad in having FREE Flipkart?
I got the question from many people that if we are getting access for FREE for few sites then whats the problem?
I would like to tell you that first of all, in this world, nothing is free. Facebook is not free. It needs money to run and money mainly comes from the Ads that are shown to us. The First 3 months earning report of 2015 (Q1 2015) is just released by Facebook which shows revenue of $3.5 Billion (Approximately Rs. 22,135 Crore). If we are getting free access to Flipkart on Airtel network, then its not free. Someone has to bear those data charges. Its either Airtel or Flipkart. Here, Filipkart decided to bear the charges. But again, they also have to recover that money from some medium, source. Eventually, they will end up in increasing their product prices. It may not be big deal for big corporations but what about the millions of small out there on the web?
I got another question: I don’t shop online but I’m getting Facebook for free. Whats bad in that?
What’s bad in having free Facebook, Google, Internet?
As I told you, Facebook is Ad driven network. Money comes from Ads. If Facebook pays those data charges, then eventually they will have to increase their advertisement rates. Now, most of the big well known brands like Coca cola, Big bazaar, Fast track, etc. have huge budget for online marketing. So, if they have to pay more for online marketing campaigns which also includes Facebook ad campaigns, Google AdWords campaigns, they will also have to increase their price eventually causing increase in inflation in India. It won’t happen suddenly like Facebook made itself free today and tomorrow, the cost of food items, cloths, etc. will increase. But it will happen eventually… Slowly… IF WE DON’T STOP IT NOW.
So, please log on to http://savetheinternet.in/ and respond to the TRAI now. Because if TRAI gives permission to telecom companies to make evil plans like these then internet won’t be democratic space rather it would be luxury for all where Telecom operators would be doorkeepers. Please share this post with your friends for awareness and hope to see India’s own Google, Facebook soon…