The Net Neutrality Saga
Net neutrality means that the customers have full freedom to use whichever internet services they want on their mobile devices when they opt for a data plan from a service provider. Customers pay for a basic pack, which grants them a specific amount of data usage for a specific period of time for their money. However, telecom companies are now looking to change things around, and not for the better. Companies like Airtel and Vodafone are looking to charge customers extra for using particular services on the internet, like WhatsApp and Facebook. According to what they want, customers would have to pay an extra 100 rupees or so per month other than what they pay for the 3G or 2G data for their cell for using these services.
The reason the companies have asked for this is because they believe that internet coverage and services are not well supplied to all parts of the country. There are still millions who have no internet access, and in today’s world of the internet, and the companies will look to invest the extra amount generated by this scheme into tackling the issue. Although the reason is understandable, the approach is overly erroneous. Customers already pay them for the talk time they provide, which is their primary source of revenue, and providing data services has always been secondary. They cannot put their own monopolies on how the customers use the data that has been allocated to them, all in the name of trying to improve internet availability across the nation.
This is where the government has to step in. They are the ones who need to invest for the issue raised by telecom companies. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is flooding with emails and petitions from people all over the nation. It is up to them and the government to end this debacle and help maintain net neutrality.