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Net neutrality UPSC NOTE

 What is Net Neutrality

  • Net neutrality is the principle that all internet traffic should be treated equally, regardless of its source, destination, or type. 

  • This means that ISPs should not block or throttle access to any websites or services, and they should not charge users different rates for accessing different types of content.

  • Net neutrality is important because it ensures that everyone has equal access to the internet.

  • Without net neutrality, ISPs could give preferential treatment to certain websites or services, which could stifle competition and innovation

  • They could also charge users more for accessing certain types of content, which could make it difficult for people to access the information and services they need.

  • Net neutrality is a controversial issue, with ISPs and other businesses arguing that they should be able to manage their networks in the way that they see fit. 

  • Proponents of net neutrality argue that it is essential for protecting the open and free internet.


Challenges for Telecom Companies due to OTT

  • The OTT consultation has renewed the clamour from the telecom companies that content providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ Hotstar be asked to share in the costs of bandwidth

  • They argue that streaming platforms are free riders, benefiting from the infrastructure built and maintained by the telecom companies. 

  • This argument is fundamentally flawed and sets a dangerous precedent that undermines the principle of net neutrality.

  • Telecom companies do not own the Internet; rather, they provide access to it


  • Consumers pay the telcos for access services by purchasing data plans.

  • By offering services that consumers desire, OTT platforms generate demand for Internet access.

  • They also pay for the content delivery networks (CDNs) to create pathways that substantially augment the capacity of the internet to deliver their content.

  • Telecom companies capitalize on this demand (and the availability of OTT content) by providing connectivity to the Internet and charging subscribers for it. 


  • One of the requirements for the operation of a fair market is that the costs and benefits of a transaction are fully accounted for in the exchange price

  • Therefore, any attempt to seek cross-subsidies instead of fully accounting for the costs could warrant scrutiny from the Competition Commission.

Content Providers' Perspective on Net Neutrality

  • Content providers, such as Netflix, Google, and Amazon, generally support net neutrality

  • They argue that net neutrality is essential for ensuring that their content is accessible to all users, regardless of their ISP

  • Without net neutrality, ISPs could block or throttle access to certain content providers, or charge users more for accessing certain types of content.

  • This could stifle competition and innovation, and make it more difficult for content providers to reach their audiences.

Ways that net neutrality could benefit content providers:

  1. Net neutrality ensures that content providers can reach all of their users, regardless of their ISP. This is important because it allows content providers to maximize their audience and reach new customers.

  1. Net neutrality encourages content providers to innovate and develop new services. This is because they know that their services will be accessible to all users, regardless of their ISP.

  2. Net neutrality can help content providers to reduce costs by eliminating the need to pay ISPs to prioritize their traffic

  3. This can free up resources that can be invested in other areas, such as content development or marketing.

The Importance of Upholding Net Neutrality

  • Net neutrality is the principle that all internet traffic should be treated equally.

  • This means that internet service providers (ISPs) should not block or throttle access to any websites or services.

Net neutrality is important for a number of reasons:

  1. It protects the open and free internet 

  2. It promotes innovation

  3. It empowers consumers

  • Net neutrality is also important for education, healthcare, and economic development

  • Students in rural areas need to be able to access online educational resources

  • Patients in need of specialized care need to be able to access online medical consultations. 

  • Net neutrality also helps to create jobs and boost economic growth by enabling new businesses to start and existing businesses to grow.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Net neutrality UPSC NOTE
Net neutrality UPSC NOTE
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