Net Neutrality in India : Pay Rs 250 per month to access WhatsApp or Facebook

By Chandresh Dedhia, Head-IT, Fermenta Biotech

This could be the future if we don’t have Open Internet in India!

Legality

There are no laws enforcing net neutrality in India. Although TRAI guidelines for the Unified Access Service license promotes net neutrality, it does not enforce it. The Information Technology Act, 2000 also does not prohibit companies from throttling their service in accordance with their business interests. In India, telecom operators and ISPs offering VoIP services have to pay a part of their revenues to the government.

Why is Net Neutrality important for businesses?
Net Neutrality is crucial for small business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurs, who rely on the open Internet to launch their businesses, create a market, advertise their products and services, and distribute products to customers. We need the open Internet to foster job growth, competition and innovation.

Net Neutrality lowers the barriers of entry for entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses by ensuring the Web is a fair and level playing field. It’s because of Net Neutrality that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to thrive on the Internet. They use the Internet to reach new customers and showcase their goods, applications and services.

No company should be able to interfere with this open marketplace. ISPs are by definition the gatekeepers to the Internet, and without Net Neutrality, they would seize every possible opportunity to profit from that gatekeeper control.
Without Net Neutrality, the next Google would never get off the ground.

Let’s say you run a small business. You have a great product, satisfied customers, and you’re ready to grow by getting into paid search. You launch a PPC campaign, target high commercial intent keywords, write compelling ads, and have these ads point at highly optimized landing pages. Awesome!

…Until your prospective customers click on your ad and their ISP throttles bandwidth to your landing pages because you can’t afford to enter into a “preferential service agreement.” Your landing pages take forever to load, and your conversion rates plummet. You’ve wasted time, money and effort – all because your larger competitors can afford sleazy backhanders.

Net neutrality is essential to consumer choice. If ISPs get to choose which sites are seen and when, millions of businesses – large and small alike – will suffer, and so will consumers.