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Net Neutrality

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Network Neutrality, also known as Net Neutrality, is an Internet policy issue that considers the degree to which Internet Service Providers can selectively promote certain Internet content and applications to their customers, whether through Zero-Rating, paid prioritization, or other means. Some countries have passed Network Neutrality legislation, others have taken a “co-regulatory” approach, and others encourage self-regulation within the ISP industry. Many countries have yet to respond to the issue, and in some countries it is a policy question open for review.[1]

Contents

Actors

The basic actors in a Network Neutrality scenario are: the Internet Service Provider (ISP), the end user, the content or applications provider, and the regulator. Other actors - like transit providers and CDNs - have been identified as the issue of Network Neutrality continues to be explored and defined.[2] The end user is a consumer of the ISP’s services, and also a person having certain legal rights. Content and applications providers are individuals and organizations that publish things on the Internet. ISPs sometimes enter into commercial arrangements with third-party content or applications providers to promote their information over other the information that is available on the Internet, or promote their native services. The ISP is in the position to promote information on a technical (e.g. network operation) and non-technical (e.g. pricing structures) level. The regulator is the government authority that has the power to regulate ISPs behaviour in this regard.

Net Neutrality Around the World

India

Currently, Net Neutrality does not exist in India. While there are no formal rules in place for ISPs, most operate with neutrality in mind. There are exceptions to this rule, and over the course of many years various telecom companies have approached TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) to grant them the ability to block content and charge additional fees for access to information and entertainment. [3] Responses to these maneuvers have been swift and numerous. As of April 2015, over 1 million Indian end-users submitted emails to TRAI supporting Net Neutrality. [4]

References

  1. New Zealand Ministry for Business, Innovation, and Employment Review of the Telecommunications Act 2001. Retrieved 27 Apr 2015.
  2. Patrick Maillé, Gwendal Simon, Bruno Tuffin. Toward a Net Neutrality Debate that Conformsto the 2010s. 2015. Retrieved 27 Apr 2015.
  3. IBNLive. Indians Rally for Internet Freedom. Retrieved 25 Apr 2015.
  4. Pranav Dixit. Indian Internet Users’ Emails. Retrieved 25 Apr 2015.