Keep Net Neutral

  • For Digital India dream to transpire, adequate spectrum must be released to telecom industry as well.
  • Communications technology is the most transformative force in the world today .
  • Creating conditions that allow it full play for the dissemination of legal content should be on top of priority lists of all governments.
  • President Barack Obama made the right call when he publicly appealed to US communications regulator, FCC, to preserve `net neutrality', which means all internet traffic is to be treated equally.
  • If the NDA government wants to actualise its dream of Digital India, it should treat broadband internet as a public utility rather than the preserve of a moneyed few.
  • To this end, it should pass laws to uphold what has been the norm on the Net so far neutrality of the Net which prevents service providers from blocking or slowing down legal content in order to facilitate other kinds of content whose providers are willing to pay for a fast lane to consumers.
  • Anything other than Net neutrality will not only restrict information and services to Net surfers, it will also kill innovation as it will favour established businesses over smaller and fresher competitors.
  • Along with Net neutrality , more spectrum needs to be made available to telecom providers if Digital India is to pick up speed.
  • Spectrum for mobile telephony is up for auction next year as licence agreements of some existing service providers come to an end.
  • In the absence of more spectrum, next year's auctions could disrupt India's mobile services and thereby internet access for most Indians.
  • The NDA government, therefore, must take speedy steps to implement Trai's suggestion that adequate spectrum be released prior to next year's auction.