Net Neutrality and INDIANS
What is net neutrality?
Network neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet.
The Internet has operated according to this neutrality principle since its earliest days. Indeed, it is this neutrality that has allowed many companies, including Google, to launch, grow, and innovate. Fundamentally, net neutrality is about equal access to the Internet.
In our view, the broadband carriers should not be permitted to use their market power to discriminate against competing applications or content. Just as telephone companies are not permitted to tell consumers who they can call or what they can say, broadband carriers should not be allowed to use their market power to control activity online.
Net Neutrality Google
Net Neutrality Wikipedia PLEASE READ THE WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE AND THE LINKS GIVEN IN IT.
The issue of net neutrality has become a burning issue in the USA.View the two videos embedded below to understand the concept more clearly.
USA has a full fledged all out debate going on ,on this topic of net neutrality(as you have seen in the videos )
There are campaigns in the USA like SAVE THE INTERNET.COM
Even in a country like USA where the number of net users exceeds far that of India,many US citizens are still not aware of this issue.
Are you wondering as to how this issue is important to India?
It is important.
Airtel has done something very sly right under our nose.THIS IS AIRTEL’s FAIR USAGE POLICY.
To put it simply ,AIRTEL is AGAINST NET NEUTRALITY.
If you think you are not an Airtel user and hence this doesnt concern you,fear not my friend,other ISP providers will follow suit if we let Airtel get away with this.
The following article quoted in its entirety from the link given right below.
Petition against Airtel Fair Usage Policy
Ah, Witness the Death of Net Neutrality…
”I know most if not all of the people would probably choose the infamous fatalistic Indian approach of the “Chalta Hai” attitude. Preemptively assuming it doesn’t concern them. “Who cares? This would only affect people who are downloading pirated movies, music and software. It won’t affect me.” They couldn’t be more wrong, Read on.
Airtel is going the US Comcast way, capping download, limiting speeds, channeling bandwidth.
Most of the people I know pride themselves on being far better than Americans ,at least where Civil/Political scene is concerned, all based on this ad hominem preconceived underlying notion. How would this be any different if we let this policy blindly pass?
Some might even consider this a “geek” issue, which its not.
Remember the blanket blog ban a while back ordered by the technologically illiterate government babus to block certain blogs not in favour of their taste, the ISPs slavishly & promptly swung into action blocking entire blog sites to please their masters.
Honestly I don’t give a rat’s ass about bloggers & blogging, having the personal opinion, “Never have so few got to say so less about so much to so many”, but being a staunch supporter of freedom of speech I vehemently opposed it. Although there was present a conflict between freedom of speech & sensibilities of the masses, as there always be, it has to be carefully navigated through.
The policy sets a dangerous precedent to the imminent death of Net Neutrality
It’d take me forever to cover all the aspects of this issue, however In this day & age Net Neutrality is as big if not bigger an issue than Democracy & Freedom of Speech.
The policy is inherently fundamentally flawed. Net Neutrality is even a major political issue in the nations where broadband has a higher penetration.
“Allowing broadband carriers to control what people see and do online would fundamentally undermine the principles that have made the Internet such a success…A number of justifications have been created to support carrier control over consumer choices online; none stand up to scrutiny.”
– Vint Cerf [PDF]
Google Chief Internet Evangelist and Co-Developer of the Internet Protocol
“The neutral communications medium is essential to our society. It is the basis of a fair competitive market economy. It is the basis of democracy, by which a community should decide what to do. It is the basis of science, by which humankind should decide what is true. Let us protect the neutrality of the net.”– Tim Berners-LeeInventor of the World Wide Web
If all this seems harmless enough & you think we’re superior & above the other places where such things are happening, think again, Even a cursory glance at world events would tell any informed person otherwise.
You think Korea & China were blanketed overnight?? One day the entire private & state machinery suddenly decided to censor everything? It was a gradual process. Suppression/suspension of freedom of speech in any form, medium or factor is but a step leading to the dreaded pit of censorship & autocracy.
Airtel “Fair Usage” Policy… Fair for whom? another Ramalinga Raju? I don’t see it as fair, Its draconian at best.. & thats a conservative view of it.
Hmmm….. we can’t cope up with the record number of subscribers signing up for our company plans having been tricked into our (apparently) false goodwill generation, Lets DOWNGRADE customer service instead of UPGRADING our infrastructure, so we don’t have to delve into the insane record profits Bharti has been registering over the years, & lets name it “Fair Usage Policy” to shroud & conceal the real greedy corporate grubbiness behind it.
For my part I’m an extremely heavy user of my broadband connection (& that is to say the least) however I am paying for an unlimited plan & I expect full service. The end-user has complete right to use his service as he sees fit. If Airtel can’t handle it, then they shouldn’t have declared their broadband plans with all the cry & hoopla.
And an arbit legal loophole I’d presume Airtel would have to face is, Broadband in India as defined by TRAI is 256kbps, if Airtel does not provide “broadband” quality service (as signed in the customer-corporate contract) deliberately & with full awareness, as opposed to negligence, I’d say it’d be open to a host of law suits.
Airtel has not given any prior intimation or notice, distributed any flyers (unlike the stupid flyers you keep receiving with every bill & every other SMS), pamphlets, notices of any sort, but clandestinely updated its website & Airtel service centers with the Fair Usage policy, hoping to quietly get away with it, But they vastly under-estimate the power of the Net & forget that it hasn’t been censored………..yet.
An apt article to demonstrate it would be this one,
‘ Why We Need to Swarm: Social activism and defending Internet Freedoms
Hopefully Indians will think & be independent enough to be devoid of other influences & oppose the policy.
Corporatism & Pure capitalism has come knocking on India’s doors.
Where are you?
Please sign the petition at
& forward to as many people as you can (irrespective of your ISP/usage of the net)
The Fair Usage policy has not yet been implemented in Delhi but it is in the process of being implemented.
Disclaimer:-All the information given in this post that pertains to Airtel is courtesy this link.
On a different note,please excuse me for a day,I am so missing all your blogs and barely have been able to go through all your posts….and havent had time to comment at leisure.:(
Another 24 hours and I should be back:)