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Posts Tagged ‘netneutrality’

Another win for Internet, Net neutrality is upheld in the world’s biggest democracy – India

February 9, 2016 1 comment

After nearly a year-long consultation with the public and telecoms, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has finally announced their stand this evening barring content discrimination and differential pricing. This development has come after the direct effect netizens of India rallying up to protect the level playing field of Internet.  A major credit for this victory should go to the people behind savetheinternet.in who created awareness and helped people respond to TRAI on its consultation. This is not an ordinary victory for the people of this democracy as the telecom companies were fiercely lobbying against any net neutrality rules and huge corporates like google, who were found to be silently lobbying against net neutrality in India, and facebook’s own Internet.org which changed its name to free basics after criticisms pointing out they were neither charity nor the entire Internet. TRAI has asked reliance communications, the country’s only provider of facebook’s free basics to suspend providing free basics to users earlier this month. Facebook spend millions of amounts for advertising free basics with billboards everywhere, full-page advertisements in the newspapers and attractive television advertisements, it also made use of its user base unethically to lobby for it, a move which was later criticized by TRAI. Today TRAI has taken a stand officially to prohibit content discrimination and differential pricing,with the exception of emergency services. Full official report can be read  in TRAI’s official report here. The guidelines released are,

  • No service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content.
  • No service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person, natural or legal, that has the effect of discriminatory tariffs for data services being offered or charged to the consumer on the basis of content
  • A service provider may reduce tariff for accessing or providing emergency services, or at times of grave public emergency, provided it is reported to TRAI within seven days and the authority approves it.
  • TRAI may review these regulations after a two years or after a period TRAI may deem fit.
  • TRAI may also levy a penalty of 50,000 Rupees up to a maximum of 50 lakh Rupees if any service provider is found contravening these regulations.

Indeed a day to celebrate. Though the battle is won, the war is not won yet with major private corporations and governments wielding more and more control into the daily lives of the people, there must be a similar fight to liberate the people from the surveillance of the governments and from the clutches of these corporations. For only free thinking and informed citizens can uphold this democracy.

Rise up to save the Net neutrality in India

April 19, 2015 Leave a comment

As the fight to a neutral non discriminatory open Internet just got over in the US, and FCC ruled in favor of the people, upholding the principle of Net neutrality after hearing comments sent to FCC by the Internet users. History: fight and victory

Now a similar fight is underway in India and the Indian telcos are lobbying to break the Internet as we know it.Airtel announced differential pricing plan for voip content and withdrew it after severe social media backlash. Now they have come up with Airtel zero which let access apps pay them and let users access it for free giving preferential treatment for corporations with big money. facebook’s internet.org in the name of charity let’s people to access only sites that signup with them for free. Both if gone ahead would break the the Internet as a level playing field. Telcos are crying to let them charge for services like whatsapp,viber,redphone and other instant messaging and voip apps which are used by people for free stating that they are eating their revenues even as the data usage grows.

Everything is not over yet, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has released a consultation paper(link) on 27th March asking for the public to comment on a set of 20 questions and send them to email id listed on page2 of the paper with a tight deadline of 24th April.

Internet users all over India has responded and websites have been set up http://www.netneutrality.in/ and https://www.savetheinternet.in/ to help people understand the issue and respond to TRAI with a simple mouse click.

Also several videos have put up explaining the issue with some going viral. Here is a simple video that have been put up by the people defending net neutrality that explains this issue in simple terms

What can you do to save the Internet :

If you are in India respond to TRAI by sending an email to them, write to your MP and let more people know about this issue. Even if you are not in India you can share about this and let your friends in India know about this issue. For more ways to help please look at http://www.netneutrality.in/support/

Your voice makes a difference, here is a list of developments so far,

Flipkart pulls out of Airtel Zero: http://www.medianama.com/2015/04/223-flipkart-pulls-out-of-airtel-zero-net-neutrality-in-india-gets-a-boost/

Several Internet companies walk out of facebook’s internet.org: http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2015/04/15/internetorg-withdrawal_n_7071532.html?utm_hp_ref=india

Politicians and celebrities voice their support for Net neutrality: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-04-14/news/61142375_1_net-neutrality-sachin-bansal-flipkart

Save netneutrality…Write to FCC stating your opinion on net neutrality

May 17, 2014 1 comment

If you are an Internet user living in the United States, FCC has asked for your opinion on their new rules for regulating Internet. Write to them staing why having a free, open and equal to all Internet is important to have.
EFF, the leading nonprofit organization which fights for our Internet freedom is asking for your help to protect Net Neutrality.

Go to dearfcc.org write to FCC and let your voice be heard.

For more information on what’s at stake and why you need to act now, head to this EFF page.

Even if you are not living in Unites States, you can do your part by letting others know by sharing this information in your social circle.