Perhaps you’ve heard of this phrase “net neutrality”. And about some tussle over it.
And perhaps you’ve let it slide from your consciousness, because it doesn’t seem like it could concern you, especially in India.
But lend me your eyes for a few minutes and let me tell you how India’s telcos and telecom regulators are trying to pull wool over them.
First, is there a problem now? Actually no. You’ve enjoyed the internet, the way it’s supposed to be – freely and fully, till now. But in 16 days from the day I write this – April 22, 2015, the telecom regulators in India are preparing to recommend that it all change. Against you.
Here’s what the big fight is all about.
Till recently, the telecom companies had enjoyed a great run in India, making tens of thousands of crores in profits over a long run, as India grew to 800 million mobile phone users from virtually nothing.
During this time, they’ve largely focused on selling voice minutes – while at the back end they have been using voice over internet protocol (or VOIP) to connect with other telcos and deliver calls using the internet. And given that the cost of VOIP is a tiny fraction of the cost of traditional voice calls they were charging, they raked in the moolah.