Net Neutrality: Is it really required!

Net Neutrality: Is it really required!

Net Neutrality is again gaining traction in the market. Everywhere, people are talking about it. Everywhere people are confused about it. Some say it favors the telecom operators as they get paid by OTT Apps for gaining preferential treatment, some take an entirely different route to defend it saying it will ultimately benefit the consumers at large. Overall, there is no clear indication over the inclination of the discussions. The authorities too, seem to be a bit confused. Actually they are into a catch22 situation. They know it is beneficial for the market and will boost competition, they cannot afford to leave the populist way.  

Will Restriction to Net Neutrality kill free access to internet of healthy competition!

It is a very vague statement when we say disallowing net neutrality will restrict free access to the internet and may hamper the technological innovations happening in the market, as argued by some intellectuals. Let’s understand it this way. A telecom operator brings in Free Basics kind of service. It is a free platform open for all to join in. Some startups chose to associate and get a direct access to the subscriber base of that telecom operator. Other, who do not come on board, too get access to the subscriber base, though the connection might be slow comparatively. Subscribers, on the other hand, get access to all the OTT apps, irrespective of whether they are on board or off board. In the entire scenario, subscribers are not affected. As far as killing the competition is concerned, the service is open for all and whosoever wants to join in can join in. It then depends on that OTT app company’s strategic abilities.

Why so hue and cry!

On the prima facie, it looks like a genuine concern for freedom of expression. When dived deep down, it tells a different story altogether. Features like Free Basics are actually pro subscribers. An operator who brings in such feature gets paid by the OTT app companies. It turn, it relieves burden from the subscribers. Telecom operators cannot do duel computing for same service, the subscribers therefore are the real winners. Still, the common sentiment in the market is waving against them. They are being manipulated by some of the influential stakeholders. How are they! What they want! Why are they opposing features like Free Basics!

Telecommunication business is huge and growing day by day. The stakeholders are a few only who are operating in this market. They pay humongous amount to buy spectrums. They would like to receive returns on their investments. If they can do that without hurting the subscribers and in process, favor healthy competition, the authorities should favor the motion.

Net Neutrality is a concept, not a service. One should evaluate it on the basis of services. An argument without logic is hazardous. Be wise, calculate how you would get impacted and then build your opinion. After all, its opinions that matter.  

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