Free Free Free!! Soon you will be able to use apps like Flipkart and more without any data charges with a new platform Airtel is set to launch. Seems good, right? But, as “all that glitter is not gold” this free concept is simply creating a big threat to our future net usage freedom, as India’s largest telecom company is launching Airtel Zero, which charges users according to the platform they use, abandoning the global concept of Net neutrality.
Lets first understand what Net Neutrality is,
According to Wikipedia –
Net neutrality (also network neutrality, Internet neutrality, or net equality) is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication
Now that we understand what the concept of Net neutrality is, it’s really difficult to understand how can these services by Airtel justifies the already defined policies. And what’s more, according to Medianama, Flipkart has already joined the new platform by signing a deal and Airtel is said to be in talks with other companies too.
To understand this blow more clearly, let’s take an example to understand how Airtel is making us all fools. Suppose you are have taken a plan of INR 799/per month for 10GB usage, which in addition to service tax becomes payable INR 860. According to your current plan, you pay a fixed amount irrespective of your platform usage, which is a fair deal. Now, if you buy these free trap plans, prepare yourself for an undisclosed amount of charges, as you will be paying as per your addresses you visit online, and if the platform you use is highly chargeable, then only GOD can save your pockets.
On being asked about this tie-up being a violation of Net neutrality, a Flipkart spokesperson commented, “We would not like to comment on speculation regarding any future associations that may or may not happen. All our activities in the past have always been completely compliant with all laws, including those formed by TRAI – and we continue to remain committed to that.”
While the idea looks like a total blow to the concept of net neutrality, but there are some diplomatic strings attached to that. According to Airtel, users will be able to buy packs that offer free access to certain services, but accessing others will incur a charge. In simple words, if you buy a pack giving free access to YouTube and Facebook, you will incur no data charge, but if you use Whatsapp or Gmail, you need to pay the charges accordingly.
According to Airtel, the concept is not at all against the Net neutrality, as Srini Gopalan, Director, Consumer Business, at Bharti Airtel told Hindu Business Line“This is an open platform with non-discriminatory pricing, and we believe it will be a win-win for customers and e-commerce players.”
Further, he adds “This is exciting for customers because a lot of their favorite apps can now be accessed without data charges, and a lot of new apps that small start-ups want to offer now become free”.
Am I the only one, who feels like this all is against the Net Neutrality? Am I the only one, who feels this free formula is against some policies? By giving the greed of free Airtel simply is plotting a future map, where common man will be bound to pay according to these service providers.
One thing is, these giants are doing this, aren’t there any governing authority that binds them in the boundaries of defined protocols? Are they hearing us? If not, let’s make them hear by:
- Mailing you concerns to TRAI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Share this article everywhere, not for our benefit, but to join this fight against the violation of Net neutrality.
- Buycott such greedy plans, afterall they all are just trap, nothing in this world comes for free!!