comscore Net neutrality in India still a myth, but don't log off
News

Net neutrality in India still a myth, but don't log off

Amid the raging debate globally over net neutrality, which has evoked a strong reaction from stakeholders in India, domain experts feel that an unshackled access to the Internet world isn't feasible i

  • Published: April 20, 2015 11:10 AM IST
internet freedom

Amid the raging debate globally over net neutrality, which has evoked a strong reaction from stakeholders in India, domain experts feel that an unshackled access to the Internet world isn’t feasible in India yet but attempts must continue for egalitarianism. Also Read - Today's Tech News: Union Budget 2021, popular Twitter accounts banned, more

“Building a net neutral network is technologically not possible to implement. It’s a utopian idea – no basis in technology,” said Ravi V.S. Prasad, a telecom consultant who has designed several data-com and telecom networks in the past 30 years. Also Read - Internet groups claim that telecom operators are blocking Reddit and Telegram in India

“No telecom engineer will say that network neutrality is feasible. The concept that each data is treated equally does not hold good. You can’t design data. The Internet inherently prioritises data on a scale of 0-7 points basis,” Prasad told IANS. Also Read - ACT Fibernet to expand into more cities; play in gaming to boost business

Explaining further, he said a network architecture gives highest priority to network management, followed by online gaming, speech, videos and then still images, music files, movie downloads and file transfers. These cannot be on the same footing.

Network neutrality, or open inter-working, means in accessing the World Wide Web, one is in full control over how to go online, where to go and what to do, as long as these are lawful. So firms that provide Internet services should treat all lawful Internet content in a neutral manner.

It also required such companies not to charge users, content, platform, site, application or mode of communication differentially. These are also the founding principles of the Internet and what has made it the largest and most diverse platform for expression in recent history.

Giving a slightly different perspective was Subimal Bhattacharjee, member of Research Advisory Network under the Global Commission on Internet Governance – an initiative of the Davos-based World Economic Forum launched last year to articulate the future of internet governance.

“It is practically impossible to build a net-neutral network, but it has to be attained – or at least attempted. This is what will support innovation. Otherwise, the Net will not remain open and free,” Bhattacharjee told IANS.

“Also, every telecom service provider is an intermediary under the Information Technology Act, in any case. If an operator tries to give an advantage to some players by taking a fee and improving their services, it is not allowed under Section 79 of IT Act.”

According to Antony Alex, chief executive officer of online learning platform myLaw.net, the IT Act already provides for exceptions where net neutrality could be violated by internet service providers – pornography being one such example.

“But violation of net neutrality for commercial benefit of a few is a different issue altogether. The law as it stands now is silent on net neutrality. That’s why Internet service providers take advantage and offer different plans, which go against net neutrality,” he said.

Bhattacharjee said: “The question that lies ahead of us now is whether service providers will be able to provide any special service under the over-the-top (OTT) banner. The way the mood is, it seems unlikely.” Such services include apps like Viber and WhatsApp.

Similarly, Abhilekh Verma, partner with the legal and corporate consultancy firm Khaitan and Co., said the argument favouring neutrality of the internet is an important one. “But one also has to note that in India, the internet penetration leaves a lot to be desired.”

In India, there were some 95 million broadband connections as of end-February. There was also a growing appetite among netizens in India to log on to social networking sites – Facebook, for example, claims 118 million active users in the country.

Another votary of net neutrality is technology evangelist Sam Pitroda, who, at the instance of then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, was responsible for India’s telecom revolution in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

“Net neutrality in India is fundamental to the future of democracy, development, demography and disparity. It is not about business, economics, customer service or the opinion of a few educated elites,” Pitroda said.

He gave the example of the US and said after a brief debate there, the administration felt its importance. “However it required interventions at the highest level to push net neutrality. Short term issues cannot be allowed to create a fog and confusion in the minds of people.”

The Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Ecuador have also adopted net neutrality.

As the situation stands in India today, the telecom watchdog released a paper inviting comments from all stakeholders on what are called the over-the-top services. Responses have to be filed by April 24 and the counter-arguments by May 8. The suggestions will subsequently follow.

Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, a lawyer by profession, said the government intends to take a call on the matter after receiving the watchdog’s recommendations, as it intended to involve wider consultations.

“A panel is also examining the issue. It will submit its report by the second week of May. These will help the government take a comprehensive decision on this issue.”

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel. Also follow us on  Facebook Messenger for latest updates.
  • Published Date: April 20, 2015 11:10 AM IST



new arrivals in india

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F22
Samsung Galaxy F22

12,499

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite

21,999

Infinix Note 10 Pro
Infinix Note 10 Pro

16,999

Infinix Note 10
Infinix Note 10

10,999

Vivo Y73
Vivo Y73

20,990

OnePlus Nord CE 5G
OnePlus Nord CE 5G

22,999

iQOO Z3
iQOO Z3

19,990

Realme C25s
Realme C25s

9,999

Poco M3 Pro 5G
Poco M3 Pro 5G

13,999

Realme X7 Max 5G
Realme X7 Max 5G

26,999

Oppo F19
Oppo F19

18,990

Motorola Moto G40 Fusion
Motorola Moto G40 Fusion

13,999

POCO M2 Reloaded
POCO M2 Reloaded

9,499

OPPO A74 5G
OPPO A74 5G

17,990

Oppo A53s 5G
Oppo A53s 5G

14,990

Vivo V21 5G
Vivo V21 5G

29,990

Realme C25
Realme C25

9,499

Realme C21
Realme C21

7,999

Realme C20
Realme C20

6,799

Motorola Moto G60
Motorola Moto G60

17,999

iQOO 7
iQOO 7

31,990

Samsung Galaxy M42 5G
Samsung Galaxy M42 5G

21,999

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

69,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G
Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G

39,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X
Xiaomi Mi 11X

29,999

Realme 8 5G
Realme 8 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F02s
Samsung Galaxy F02s

8,999

Samsung Galaxy F12
Samsung Galaxy F12

10,999

POCO X3 Pro
POCO X3 Pro

18,999

Realme 8 Pro
Realme 8 Pro

17,999

Realme 8
Realme 8

14,999

Vivo X60 Pro Plus
Vivo X60 Pro Plus

69,990

Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro

49,990

Vivo X60
Vivo X60

37,990

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
OnePlus 9 Pro 5G

64,999

OnePlus 9R 5G
OnePlus 9R 5G

39,999

OnePlus 9 5G
OnePlus 9 5G

49,999

Samsung Galaxy A72
Samsung Galaxy A72

34,999

Samsung Galaxy A52
Samsung Galaxy A52

26,499

Micromax In 1
Micromax In 1

10,499

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5

49,999

Samsung Galaxy M12
Samsung Galaxy M12

10,999

Motorola Moto G30
Motorola Moto G30

10,999

Motorola Moto G10 Power
Motorola Moto G10 Power

9,999

Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G
Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G

25,990

Oppo F19 Pro
Oppo F19 Pro

21,490

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

18,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

15,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10

11,999

Realme Narzo 30A
Realme Narzo 30A

8,999

Realme Narzo 30 Pro
Realme Narzo 30 Pro

16,999

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Samsung Galaxy A12
Samsung Galaxy A12

12,999

Nokia 5.4
Nokia 5.4

13,999

Nokia 3.4
Nokia 3.4

11,999

Realme X7 Pro 5G
Realme X7 Pro 5G

29,999

Realme X7
Realme X7

19,999

Vivo Y31
Vivo Y31

16,490

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Tecno Spark 6 Go
Tecno Spark 6 Go

8,499

Vivo V20 2021
Vivo V20 2021

24,990

Vivo Y20A
Vivo Y20A

11,490

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G9 Power
Motorola Moto G9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G 5G
Motorola Moto G 5G

20,999

Vivo V20 Pro
Vivo V20 Pro

29,990

Xiaomi Mi 10T
Xiaomi Mi 10T

35,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9i
Xiaomi Redmi 9i

8,299

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

39,999

Infinix Hot 10
Infinix Hot 10

9,999

Vivo V20 SE
Vivo V20 SE

20,990

Vivo V20
Vivo V20

24,990

Micromax In 1b
Micromax In 1b

6,999

Micromax In Note 1
Micromax In Note 1

10,999

OnePlus 8T
OnePlus 8T

42,999

Samsung Galaxy F41
Samsung Galaxy F41

15,499

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

1,29,900

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro

1,19,900

Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

69,900

Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12

79,900

Poco X3
Poco X3

16,999

Realme Narzo 20A
Realme Narzo 20A

8,499

Realme Narzo 20
Realme Narzo 20

10,499

Realme Narzo 20 Pro
Realme Narzo 20 Pro

13,999

Oppo F17
Oppo F17

16,990

Samsung Galaxy M51
Samsung Galaxy M51

22,999

Best Sellers