Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.

Net Neutrality is about:

a) No telecom-style licensing of Internet companies
b) No gateways (Internet.org, Airtel OneTouch Internet, Data VAS), censorship or selection;
c) No speeding up of specific websites
d) No “zero rating” or making some sites free over others

Significance of Net Neutrality

a) Without Net Neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the Internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP could slow down its competitors’ content or block political opinions it disagreed with.
b) ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service. This would destroy the open Internet.
c) Net Neutrality is crucial for small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs, who rely on the open Internet to launch their businesses, create a market, advertise their products and services, and distribute products to customers.

The Department of Telecom has formed a panel headed by A K Bhargava to examine economic impact of implementation of net-neutrality principle on the sector.