Net Neutrality & its importance

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What is Net Neutrality ?

Net Neutrality is also known as Network Neutrality, Internet Neutrality, or Net Equality.It is a principle  that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform or application.Telecom operators/ISPs are access services providers, and can control either how much you access, what you access, how fast you access and how much you pay to access content and services on the Internet.

It’s important for access to knowledge, services and free speech, as well as freedom and ease of doing business online, for this access to be neutral :-

  • All sites must be equally accessible
  • The same access speed at the telecom/ISP level for each (independent of telecom selection)
  • The same data cost for access to each site (per KB/MB)

This means, Net Neutrality is about :

  • No telecom-style licensing of Internet companies
  • No gateways (Internet.org, Airtel OneTouch Internet, Data VAS), censorship or selection
  • No speeding up of specific websites (that may or may not pay telcomes)
  • No “zero rating” or making some sites free over others (and that goes for you too, Wikipedia and twitter)

Net Neutrality is the Internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online. This is the definition of an open Internet.

Net Neutrality means an Internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that Internet service providers should provide us with open networks — and should not block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company shouldn’t decide who you can call and what you say on that call, your ISP shouldn’t be concerned with the content you view or post online.
Without Net Neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the Internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP could slow down its competitors’ content or block political opinions it disagreed with. ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service. This would destroy the open Internet.
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Why is this important ?
  1. A free and open internet is the single greatest technology of our time, and control should not be at the mercy of corporations.
  2. A free and open internet stimulates ISP competition.
  3. A free and open internet helps prevent unfair pricing practices.
  4. A free and open internet promotes innovation.
  5. A free and open internet promotes the spread of ideas.
  6. A free and open internet drives entrepreneurship.
  7. A free and open internet protects freedom of speech.

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