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NET NEUTRALITY : MEANING AND ISSUES



What is Net Neutrality ? a familiar  question and this topic is highlighted the last week newspapers

Take a simple example. Do you pay differently for electricity consumed by your TV than the electricity consumed by your refrigerator? No. Right. Its up to you to decide how to use electricity. The electricity providers are neutral.
Shouldn’t the same rule apply to Internet usage. You buy data from an Internet service provider. Now it should be up to you to use the data the way you wish.
Some telecom companies want to give priority to some internet applications or websites as compared to others. So, lets say an internet provider gives video data at a lesser cost compared to chats, this is not an example of neutrality. Further, if the videos are from one particular provider, the ISP is trying to control your user behavior to some extent.
Telecom companies may do it for selfish reasons. For example, Skype can be used to make voice calls, whatsapp recently came out with a voice call feature. So, if people start using these apps more and more, the users may pay less to telecom companies for calls. So, telecom companies may make usage of internet for such apps more expensive. Recently, Airtel hinted at increasing the internet cost for voice calls made over such apps. They did not do this but then came out with a plan where some other apps were available at low or no internet usage cost. No neutrality this way either.
The good thing is that there is Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). They are taking all measures to preserve net neutrality.



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