So you might have heard about the recent Net Neutrality Debate in India. Recently TRAI, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, released a consultation paper on what should be the way forward for Net Neutrality and OTT(Over-the-top) regulation in India.
Net Neutrality refers to the principle that all data should be treated equally and it can not be discriminated/blocked on the basis of content. OTT services basically refers to every service on the internet ever. Every website, app, etc comes under OTT services.
TRAI then asked for shareholder's, i.e. Internet users' input on 20 questions. To get this input, TRAI published this paper on at the bottom of their website on an unannounced date and in a mind boggling 118 page pdf. This paper is completely biased, takes quotes out of context and even plagiarizes to malign OTT players and Net neutrality.
If TRAI has it's way, we will see cannibalization of the internet. You'll can be charged differently for different services. (Using google? That costs more. Using Bing? No charge.) We will see arbitrary blocking of content and data. We will have different speeds for different services( P2P,torrenting,video streaming, video calling, gaming,etc will be most likely affected.) We will see licensing and exploitation of OTT services.
- Why is this relevant to Brilliant and its users?
A lot of users on Brilliant are from India. Under TRAI's classification of OTT services, Brilliant.org qualifies as an OTT service. If TRAI has its way, Brilliant.org will have to obtain a license to operate in India. Anyone even remotely familiar with the Indian system will realize that it will be next to impossible for a company based in the US to get a license. They can also charge Brilliant.org extra money for operating in India just because it is an OTT service, which is unfair.
- What can I do to stop this?
First off, go to http://www.savetheinternet.in/ which has a prewritten response to all the 20 questions. You can read and edit the answers according to your liking. It also allows you to send the email to TRAI with a few clicks. For non-citizens of India, you can add a few words on the top of the email, something along the lines of " I am a citizen of XYZ who is deeply concerned with the events currently going on in India. The move which you propose will set a bad precedent and affect internet users of the whole world." Don't leave it for later. The last date is 24th April. And it only takes a few minutes.
Secondly, you can spread awareness amount this move on social media.The current trending hashtags are #NetNeutralityIndia, #SavetheInternet, #IndiawantsNetNeutrality. I'll try to post an album of stuff you can share, but in the mean time, The Logical Indian has been sharing a few stuff. You can also view/share this video [Mild swearing].
If you have any queries, ask away.
Mods/Staff. Please be lenient. This is not related to Maths/Science but I've tried to explain why it would affect Brilliant.org