Imagine having to pay ₹0.80 for every message you send on WhatsApp or ₹4.50 for every minute of voice call you make on Skype, on top of the ₹200 you pay for your monthly 2 GB mobile data. Imagine having to use a specific mobile app you don’t like simply because your Telecom Operator does not want you to use the similar conventional app you currently use. Imagine your Telecom Operator having the exclusive rights of inspecting every message you send and every word you speak over the internet.
India’s telecom regulator, TRAI, has recently released a paper which asserts that all these ridiculous policies could be officially implemented anytime soon. The consultation paper, that has been highly debated and criticized all over the internet, argues that Telecom Operators are facing a decline in revenue owing to the increasing usage of so-called “Over The Top” services such as WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, etc. Hence, the Government proposes to enact new policies which compel the end-user to pay a much higher amount to compensate for the decreased profits of the Telecom Providers.
However, the decision is yet to be implemented and TRAI has sought comments from the industry and the general public before the decision is made. It has posed 20 questions regarding Net Neutrality and regulation of OTTs. The questions can be found on pages 113 to 116 of the official consultation paper at http://www.trai.gov.in/…/Consu…/Document/OTT-CP-27032015.pdf. The answers can be sent in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 24th April, 2015.
Your email to TRAI can make a huge difference. We strongly urge you to spend a few minutes to go through the questions and write a befitting, logical reply to TRAI explaining why you think Net Neutrality is important. If TRAI does not get enough public emails in support of Net Neutrality, our internet usage habits may soon be dictated by Telecom Operators. It may turn out that we have only two options – spend five minutes and send a mail to TRAI now, or endlessly complain about insanely hiked internet charges and lack of internet freedom starting two months from now.
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