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If You Have No Idea How The Indian Internet May Change And Why Everyone's Flipping A Shit, Read This

Here's your cheat sheet on India's net neutrality debate and how it affects you.

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So, the way India has air and land and water, we also have invisible communication pathways in the air, divided into various spectrums.

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Right now, you pay the telecom companies to use their data, but you can do whatever you want with that data once you've paid for it.

Via grabhouse.com

Like, you just used some of yours to watch this amazing Sunny Deol GIF and that was your decision and your telecom company and the government had nothing to do with it. (Look at your life. Look at your choices.)

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Telecom companies are really pissed that apps and services (like WhatsApp and Skype and FaceTime) use their spectrum internet highway space, and they (the telecom companies) don't make any money off it.

Oh, and telecom companies are also asking for the right to strike deals WITH some of these apps and services, so those particular apps will run faster and cheaper on their network than others.

Warner Bros.

So, for example (I'm literally making this up), Vodafone could strike a deal with WhatsApp by which WhatsApp will work faster on Vodafone than any other messaging app runs on Vodafone.

Vodafone can then tell customers: if you want to use a different messaging service (let's say Viber) at a high speed like WhatsApp, you have to pay extra money. This basically allows Vodafone to bring WhatsApp more customers than Viber, and to effectively destroy the hopes of any 19-year-old in Andheri who was on the verge of inventing the coolest messaging app ever (why would you pay for his new app when you get WhatsApp for free?). It allows telecom companies to influence the success and failure of upcoming apps and services.

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DOES YOUR BRAIN HURT FROM ALL OF THIS INFORMATION? Take a break by listening to this timeless classic.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Bet you used to think you had the answers to everything, huh?

I know it's tough to understand. But basically, what telecom companies want to do to the internet is like:

• Rickshaws taking you to their favourite restaurants for free, but making you pay extra to go at the same speed to certain other restaurants.

• Sabzi walas charging you more for good quality tomatoes if you're cooking certain dishes and less if you're cooking others.

• Highway tolls being higher if you want to go certain restaurants, and lower if you're going to others.

(Wow apparently I'm mad hungry.)

SO anyway. Where we're at now is: Telecom companies have asked TRAI to make these changes, and TRAI has gone, "¯\_(ツ)_/¯".

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Various major brands have come forward in favour of net neutrality:

@redditindia Amazon has always supported #NetNeutrality.

NDTV supports #netneutrality. Here's what the debate is about http://t.co/AZl53ORXj0

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And a lot of people aren't thrilled about it. Here's Zomato's founder, Deepinder Goyal:

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Couldn’t have built Zomato if we had a competitor on something like Airtel Zero. (1 of 2)

Calling Airtel Zero fair and not a violation of net neutrality is bs. (2 of 2)

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What people are afraid will happen if India loses net neutrality:

Via giphy.com

Telecom companies pay the government for spectrum. Apps/services pay telecom companies to operate. You pay telecom companies for data. You pay telecom companies more for certain services.

  1. So, now that you're all filled in, how do you feel about India's ongoing net neutrality debate?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    I'm desperate to #SaveTheInternet! Net neutrality is necessary!
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Ummmm pretttty alright, tbh. I don't see what the fuss is about.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    I'm confused! I see pros and cons either way!
    Correct
    Incorrect
    I still have no idea what's going on.
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So, now that you're all filled in, how do you feel about India's ongoing net neutrality debate?
  1.  
    vote votes
    I'm desperate to #SaveTheInternet! Net neutrality is necessary!
  2.  
    vote votes
    Ummmm pretttty alright, tbh. I don't see what the fuss is about.
  3.  
    vote votes
    I'm confused! I see pros and cons either way!
  4.  
    vote votes
    I still have no idea what's going on.

If you chose to #SaveTheInternet, go over here and do it.

If you're feelin' pretty chill, just hang tight and see what happens.

And if you're still confused, here's some more material that may help:
Watch All India Bakchod break down the net neutrality debate.

• And read everything there is to know about the Indian internet's fraught governance.

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