The new rules proposed by the FCC were set to take effect on 23 April in the USA.
The Internet has suddenly heated up over the issue of net neutrality in the USA. The media is going berserk over the Internet’s sudden death on April 23 — the day on which the revised rules proposed by the FCC in December last year were set to be applied. If you are someone who’s confused about whether the new rules will affect you as an Internet user in India, then we have tried to answer most of your questions regarding the commotion.
What’s net neutrality?
Net neutrality is what you experience right now — an unbiased Internet for everyone, everywhere. The term is used to describe the idea of treating all Internet traffic alike and distributing equal bandwidth across all channels.
Several Internet Service Providers have been trying to prioritise an Internet service over others in exchange for fees. For example, Airtel would provide more bandwidth to YouTube on its network instead of Vimeo or any other video library; and will charge YouTube for it. This kind of an arrangement might help a service provider improve the experience, but create issues for other players. It creates an unfair field for emerging players or startups, not giving chance to the future FaceBook or YouTube alternatives.
Several users have been protesting across the world, not agreeing with the new Net Neutrality regulations. Several governments have also agreed to retain net neutrality in their territories. India’s TRAI also decided to adhere to net neutrality a few years ago, denying service providers the right to control the Internet according to their will.
However, FCC’s Ajit Pai proposed a set of new rules that would give certain broadband service providers in the US to prioritise Internet channels for monetary interests. The new rules also give control of the Internet to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) from the FCC; however, FTC cannot implement new rules like FCC.
Does it affect you?
The new rules and regulations on net neutrality won’t be applied at once from April 23 and can still be reviewed if it gathers protest from the opposition in the legislature. As for those in India, the Internet will be unbiased for the foreseeable future. None of the rules pertaining to net neutrality regulations will apply to Indian Internet Service Providers.
(With inputs from CNET)