Net Neutrality means a protocol that binds all the internet service providers to treat all the internet users equally over the internet. There should be no discrimination among the users on the basis of content, app, site or platform.
What’s the issue in India over net neutrality?
Talking about the Net Neutrality in India, it is very important to understand that there is no governing law India, (unlike many other countries) to regulate net neutrality in the nation which can ensure that all the users are treated equally on world wide web. However, things were going normal even without such law, until Airtel, a telecom company and internet service provider in India came up with a plan called Airtel Zero. Whosoever will partner under this plan will share the data charges for their app, thereby making data charges free on their app for the end users on Airtel Network. Flipkart partnered for Airtel Zero, so Airtel users could access Flipkart app for free, without any data cost charges.
How does it impact internet users and enterprises?
As a normal consumer, one may not find anything wrong in this Airtel Zero plan. Neither it’s anything illegal, as there is no laws pertaining to net neutrality in India. But as an enterprise, it needs a closer and deeper look for a better internet world. Considering the aforementioned case of Flipkart and Airtel, it’s imperative to understand that Flipkart will get more traffic with Airtel Zero plan, but on the network of same Airtel, Snapdeal, eBay, Amaon, Jabong, who can not afford to enroll for Airtel Zero plan will succumb to it. Not only this, it will be a big discouragement to fresh e-Commerce start ups.This is why there is such a big uproar in India as the nation is demanding net neutrality for a fair internet world.
If regulations do not come to action in time, every telecom company and internet service providers will come up with such plans which will ruin the openness and neutrality of the internet as a mode of communication.