Thursday, 23 April 2015

Net neutrality- NOW or NEVER

The recent debate about net neutrality in India has managed to catch some eyeballs. It has been making news the world over, and the AIB video of save the internet has garnered the appreciation of many.
Well done boys!

For people like you and me, net neutrality essentially means that all the apps you download from the internet, no matter whichever service you are using will be equal. It means that with your net pack,  you don’t have to pay extra for using WhatsApp or installing snapdeal on your phone. The amount of money you use for your phone will skyrocket.
Okay.....sounds far-fetched? Imagine you are in a class, you need to verify something and instinctively you type Wikipedia on your phone. But you won't get it. Then you check your internet pack. You have enough money.Then why???? Because you haven't paid extra for using that app. It is one of the Over-the-Top services, and you can't access it unless you pay for it separately. So yeah!!! Pop! There goes your Candy Crush, Saavn, Superbeam, Times of India, Dictionary,  Book My Show.......you have to pay extra for every single app you download. And along with them all other start-ups, who don't have an account in the Swiss banks.

But the question is; how many people actually care? I thought many did, and I was in for a horrible shock. A friend of mine, Raunak sent this video to me asking me to see it and to sign the petition.  I saw it,  glad to know that I could.....we could... actually stop TRAI from going ahead with its devastating plans. I sent my email and with great hopes I posted it in every group I knew, and sent it to everyone I could. Made it my status for over a week. And the response I received was lukewarm. Oh wait. It was cold. No one responded. A few heard about it, but were content to be mere spectators when we were raging an all out war. I doubt how many people actually checked it. Something that I hadn't expected from our generation, which is known to be tech savvy.

  When after India’s loss at the World Cup mean, disgusting and demeaning jokes about Anushka Sharma can spread like wildfire on the social networking sites then surely something that threatens the very meaning of internet should not have received the treatment that it received. 

The greatest irony of our times. Over 200 million internet users in the country, and TRAI receives less than 10 lakh emails. Causes a gut wrenching pain. 

This post here is more of a request. What has been done, cannot be undone. Our future of internet in India hangs in balance as we await the decision. Deadline ends tomorrow. We cannot shirk away our responsibility like this.  Maybe we lose. Maybe things will take a turn for the worse. But the answer is always no unless we try. Just by proudly saying 'My vote rocks' doesn't mean your duty ends there. There are probably a thousand decisions that we don't take directly for our country, but when an organisation goes ahead and puts something forward for our suggestions, someone out there writes a fitting reply; and all we have to do is to just send it.......It becomes mandatory for us to do that.

Probably I should have written this post a bit earlier, but better late than never. And I gotta thank my brother for suggesting this to me. ;-)

Its now or never. Log in to www.savetheinternet.in to send in your support for net neutrality. 


(Images and cartoons in this article are not mine.)