India is witnessing a start-up boom, all thanks to the internet proliferation. However, as the deadline of TRAI’s consultation is approaching, a number of start-ups and internet ventures are telling that they stand firmly in favour of net neutrality.
What is Net Neutrality?
It’s the guiding principle of the internet, which provides us the right to communicate freely online. Net neutrality says that internet service providers should provide open networks, which they should not block against any content or application that ride over those networks.
In other words, would you like if your phone company decides whom you can call or what you can speak on the phone? Similarly, your ISP shouldn’t be discriminating with the content you post or view online.
If there is no net neutrality, then you phone companies and internet service providers can carve the internet into slow and fast lanes. An ISP that pays more money can slow down its competitors’ content or simply block any opinion, which it disagrees with. This would just destroy the freedom of open internet.
According to one of the articles in Business Insider, not having net neutrality might cost you more, as Internet service providers would start charging for promoting their stuff. They might start dictating the content types available on the internet. Thus, it’s important that all internet providers treat every traffic source equally.
Some of the solo entrepreneurs and start-up companies operating out of Avanta Business Centres spoke to us for this report, and expressed that only free internet will help them grow.
Here’s what some of our business centre clients had to say about net neutrality in India:
“Having a gateway to charge will stifle creativity. If a company pays more money than other you can reach it easily online, which doesn’t sounds that great. There should be same speed for all, no restriction and it should be an open market place,” says Saurjyesh Nath Bhaduri, Director, Integral Media Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
According to Prashant Tomar, Marketing Professional, RitiVise Ventures Pvt. Ltd., “we should pay for ads to promote content online, like we do for Google Ads. However, if internet service providers start dictating the terms and charge money, then there will be a risk that these companies would hold things at ransom.”
His Director at RitiVise Ventures, Mr. Vinay Singh adds that, “It’s a commercial decision to charge for what you view and post online. It’s a fair business game, but it is not a great deal for consumers, as they will have to bear the burden.”
Vipul Swarup, Co-Founder at EisenVault, said that, “It’s a grey area! Airtel has the right to do what they proposed. They can’t give everything for free. However, it’s unreasonable for consumers to bear the cost. Internet is free for all and attaching a cost to what you browse and post would be not reasonable.”
What are your views on ‘Net Neutrality’? Please share your views by leaving your comments below.