All India Bakchod (AIB), an Indian comedy collective, has been actively advocating for net neutrality laws online through this video.
Net neutrality laws help netizens to access the Internet with freedom vested with the consumers.But the changes in the Net Neutrality regulation will take away the freedom of the consumer to choose a service and will give it to the telecom service provider the consumer is using, enabling little to no autonomy to the consumer. Some of the examples of the OTT services that might partake in this change are Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, Google, Facebook messenger, iMessage, e-commerce sites (Amazon, etc), online video games and movies (Netflix, Pandora).
So basically these changes will affect the entire spectrum of netizens who use social media and make purchases online.
All these changes are enlisted in a detailed1800-page consultation paper called, “Regular Regulatory Framework for Over-the-top (OTT) services,”available at the Telephone Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)’s website.
It has also been argued that TRAI hasn’t acted fairly with the consultation paper. The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has said that OTTs have a pre-existing regulation and are governed by the IT act. There are also concerns that the telephone service providers with the new found autonomy might pull political favours and reflect their biases for the sort of content published online.
AIB has taken up the task of explaining what these changes in the regulation would mean for an average netizen and why it violates public interest. The controversial comedy group known for the AIB knockout roast of prominent Bollywood artists has garnered a lot of attention for this video in support of Net Neutrality.
In the wake of no official guideline pertaining to net neutrality in India, both the government and the regulator are examining the issue. They are expected to come up with a review in the coming months. The telecom minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, has reinstated that he supports a free Internet and that consumers should be able to access the Internet without any discrimination.So, it’s absolutely essential before the approaching deadline, that is, April 24 2015, that netizens take charge by addressing the questions posted by TRAI and support the ongoing online campaign, “Save the Internet”.
Art & Culture Featured – Written by Manmeet Sahni