Net Neutrality

Prelims level : Mains level : Paper - III awareness in the field in IT
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The government approved the principles on net neutrality. Telecom Commission has accepted the recommendations made by regulatory body TRAI on Net Neutrality.

The move will ensure internet service providers and platforms treat all data as equal.


Net neutrality is the principle that individuals should be free to access all content and applications equally, regardless of the source, without Internet Service Providers discriminating against specific online services or websites. Without giving preferential treatment to certain sites or services.

It is the principle that the company that connects you to the internet does not get to control what you do on the internet.


  • Without net neutrality rules in place, ISP(Internet Service Provider)can prevent users from visiting some websites, provide slower speeds for some services, or even redirect users from one website to a competing website.
  • Network neutrality keeps the barriers to entry for new websites and internet applications low. network neutrality is a big reason there has been so much innovation on the internet over the last two decades.
  • In the absence of net neutrality, companies can buy priority access to ISP customers. Larger, wealthier companies like Google or Facebook can pay ISPs to provide faster, more reliable access to their websites than to others. This could deter innovative start-up services that are unable to purchase priority access from the ISPs.
  • If ISPs can charge online services to connect to consumers, consumers would ultimately bear these additional costs
  • It protects freedom of expression. Without net neutrality, ISPs could potentially censor slanderous content or even content they do not agree with.
  • Companies can continue to innovate. In the past, companies started and grew on an equal playing field. With net neutrality, big companies and small start-up’s will have access to the same resources and capabilities, allowing innovation of products and services.
  • Without a neutral net, access providers can prioritise applications or services, thereby creating “walled gardens” in which consumer choice is limited.
  • Net Neutrality improves the quality of democracy by ensuring that the Internet remains an open forum in which all voices are treated equally. It ensures that the ability to voice opinions and place content online does not depend on one’s financial capacity or social status. It is therefore a powerful tool in facilitating democracy, enabling diverse ideas to be expressed and heard.


  • It will lead to excessive regulation of the internet
  • But that regulations could be counterproductive, discouraging investment in internet infrastructure and limiting the flexibility of ISPs themselves to innovate.
  • Requiring networks to treat all traffic the same could discourage beneficial innovation by network owners.
  • some applications (such as voice calling and online games) are particularly sensitive to delays in delivering data. Internet users might benefit if companies could pay a premium to ensure that this applications are given priority.
  • It will be too difficult to craft clear and effective network neutrality rules. The internet is complex and changes quickly
  • Free internet access would likely go away. The idea of providing free internet access to those who cannot afford it goes away.
  • Porn and objectionable content thrives there are plenty of security vendors who allow families to restrict the sites available on a family computer, more children have smartphones and connected devices with which they can get online without adult supervision. If an internet service provider could block these services at a network-wide level, this would go a long way to solving this issue.

Internet is as essential to the modern lifestyle as water and power. Expanding Internet access is the top priority for India. This is the reason that most of the big announcements of present government like Digital India, E-Governance. Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley were in this domain – public commitments made by Microsoft and Google to connect villages and railway stations. It will be possible by shifting costs to content providers who enter into exclusive contracts with data providers.

Digital access is now linked to the basics like Subsidies and rations, identification, financial inclusion and political participation. Such an arrangement could expand internet use rapidly in a country. In this scenario Net Neutrality is at most important for country like India.

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