FAQ: All you want to know about Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers and government should treat all data on the internet equally, regardless of size and type.

Rashi Varshney
New Update

What is net neutrality?


Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) and governments should treat all data on the internet equally, regardless of its size and type. According to this principle, ISPs should not charge differentially from user’s internet pack based on content, site, platform, application, size of data, type of files, or mode of communication (WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook, etc.). And, all the data should be provided at the same access speed. Net neutrality is a right!

What is the issue?

The OTTs (WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook etc) are eating large chunks of traditional voice services’ revenues.  And as the speed and quality of the internet improves, these apps would eventually replace the traditional voice calling and texting and this frights the telcos. Hence, telcos are lobbying to make profit out of your favorite sites or apps.  They want to charge separately for different services you use on internet. Basically, telcos wants to bring in ‘Digital VIP’ culture for the users.   For instance, Airtel has come up with a new marketing platform called Airtel Zero, where developers who sign up for Airtel Zero will pick up the data charges for parts or all elements of their app, hence making the data charges for the app free for the consumers. But imagine. How a small or medium developer would be able to do it?


In India, there is no law enforcing net neutrality. TRAI, the telecom regulatory authority in India has recently come up with 20-page long paper consultation paper for public discussion to create regulations regarding net neutrality and the doom of OTT based services like WhatsApp.

How Mark Zuckerberg & by Facebook violates Net Neutrality India?

The concept of with Reliance is violation of net neutrality. Even if it provides free internet to users, it is provided by specific provider i.e. Reliance. As Facebook is forcing to use Reliance service connection. To use one must be on reliance network.


How does it matter to me?

The VIP culture in Digital world will affect SMEs, common man in a big way. Now imagine, Airtel Zero is a plan which allows you free internet but charges the website you visit. Wait! Here is the catch! Will an extremely engaging website (assume your favorite one) without much revenue be able to pay for it? Oh no! As a result, when it would not be able to pay, it will run slow. So while you may have super fast access to Facebook and Youtube, your favorite site will be too slow for your patience.  Imagine you have to buy different packs for different services.  You want that funny video to be seen by your cousins, but no, you can’t send without paying extra for that data or the pp is too slow to send that. Isn’t it horrible?

What could be the impact on all of us?


Net Neutrality, if violated, it could prejudicially impact our PM Narendra Modi’s vision of Digital India.

Why companies and telcos are doing it?

Precisely, more money!


What is the current status?

Fortunately, Indians are doing a lot to save our very own internet. Users have revolted bigtime on social media against net neutrality violators. Many people started boycotting companies who were part of plans such as Airtel Zero or Facebook’s  As a result, Flipkart was the first one to pull out itself from Airtel Zero plan followed by Cleartrip, Times Internet, NDTV, NewsHunt – to name a few.

There is a petition on Change.Org, which wants TRAI to not 'allow differential pricing of services on the Internet & let the consumers choose how they want to use Internet'.  A new website called has been created that allows people to make arguments to the TRAI in favor of net neutrality within the framework of its consultation paper. The deadline for the same is April 24th. The website allows people to send email to TRAI on net neutrality in just a couple of clicks.