The internet’s success in fostering innovation, access to knowledge and freedom of speech is in large part due to net neutrality — the idea that internet service providers give their customers equal access to all lawful websites and services on the internet, without giving priority to any website over another. Due to intense lobbying by telecom operators like Airtel and Vodafone, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is planning to allow them to block apps and websites to extort more money from consumers and businesses — an extreme violation of net neutrality.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net Neutrality is about:
– No telecom-style licensing of Internet companies (see this and this)
It’s important for access to knowledge, services and free speech, as well as freedom and ease of doing business online, for this access to be neutral:
– All sites must be equally accessible
– The same access speed at the ISP level for each (independent of telco selection)
Why is Net Neutrality important for businesses?
- 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.
- We need the open Internet to foster job growth, competition and innovation.
- Net Neutrality lowers the barriers of entry for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses.
- It’s because of Net Neutrality that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to thrive on the Internet.
- They use the Internet to reach new customers and showcase their goods, applications and services.
- No company should be able to interfere with this open marketplace.
- Without Net Neutrality, the next Google would never get off the ground.
Why is Net Neutrality important for communities of color?
- The open Internet gives equal opportunities to be heard. But without Net Neutrality, ISPs could block unpopular speech and prevent dissident voices from speaking freely online.
- And without Net Neutrality, millions of small businesses owned by people of color wouldn’t be able to compete against larger corporations online, which would further deepen the economic inequality in our nation’s most vulnerable communities.
Some articles that you can go through for better understanding:
- Net Neutrality: a simple explanation
- The importance of net neutrality – The Hindu
- From a Public Internet to the Internet Mall[pdf]
- Net Neutrality: What you need to know now
Videos you would love to watch 😀
Join us in fighting for net neutrality. Let’s remind TRAI that their job is to protect the rights of consumers, not the profit margins of telcos. Let’s demand access to the free, open internet. Submit a response before the deadline 24 April 2015.