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Internet Licensing And Net Neutrality Faqs Essay

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FAQs: Internet Licensing and Net Neutrality 

An abridged version of the TRAI Consultation Paper is ​ here 
On the basis of that paper, please ask questions in the comments ​ here (on this same 
, and we’ll respond by adding the question and the answer.   ● Can you copy stuff from this document? ​
This is a public document, no copyright 
(under a ​
CC BY license​
): Journalists and others can ​
share, copy, adapt, remix, 
, as long as you stay true to what is written, and ​ attribute the statements to 
their author​
. (Anonymous Commenters to be attributed as Anonymous Commenters).   ● Tweet to Indian startups to support Net Neutrality
● Anonymous Commenter: ​
watch this video​
to understand the concept of Net Neutrality.
● Help file RTI’s to find out who lobbied the TRAI


Note: These FAQs have a pro Net Neutrality and anti Internet licensing stand. For Anti Net Neutrality stand, ​
click here​
The Easy Questions 

Question: What is going on? 
Answer (@nixxin):​
 India’s telecom regulator TRAI has begun a consultation process (​ read the 
) to decide three things: 
1. Should there be licensing of Whatsapp​
, WeChat, Ola, Uber, Line, Viber, Hike, Skype 
(communication Internet companies), and ​
Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm, Saavn, Gaana, 
YouTube, Redbus, Naukri, Makemytrip​
 (non­communication Internet companies ) in 
India or not? 
2. Should there be licensing for only communication Internet companies​ , but not for 
3. Should telecom operators in India (Airtel, Idea, Vodafone, Uninor, Reliance  Communications, Reliance Jio) be allowed to do “traffic shaping” and use differential  pricing: 
a. Slow down some sites/apps​
 and speed up others 
b. Make some sites/apps/types of services more expensive, some  sites/apps/types of services cheaper.​
 Slice up the Internet into packs, so that 
instead of buying as per kb or mb, you are buying, say, a Whatsapp pack, a  Twitter pack, a Flipkart pack. 
c. Create gateways so you get only some part of the Internet​ .  
Question: How will it impact me as a user? 
1. If there is licensing of Internet companies:  
a. If it had been there a few years ago, Whatsapp would not have been available in  India unless they bought a license from the Indian government. The next big  thing to come out globally (or even the little sites and services only you and a few 

others know and love), would have to buy a license to be made available in India.   @NeutralWeb: The UAE has already banned Whatsapp Voice. (​ link​

b. The next great idea from an Indian startup will not be available to you: it would be  available to the rest of the world first, and then later in India if the government  gives them a license. 

c. You might have to buy a separate packs for different licensed apps or services.  2. If there is licensing of communications services only:  a. If Whatsapp refuses to buy a license, it will not be available in India.  b. If Paytm or Quikr don’t buy a license, then you, as a buyer, will not be able to  chat with a merchant via their platform. If Goqii doesn’t buy a license, then you  won’t be able to chat with a fitness trainer via their app. If Facebook doesn’t buy  a license, then Facebook might be available, but Facebook Messenger will not.  Anything that uses messaging and voice will need to buy a license, or the Indian  government will block it. 

Anonymous Commenter​
: Should apps, whose main function is not 
communication, be allowed to bundle communication functionality inside them?  c. AND: the TRAI views Ola and Uber as messaging apps with geolocation.  Seriously. Read 3.1.1 ​
. Maybe they’re right: you are messaging a driver.  They’ll need to buy a license.  
3. If there is traffic shaping: 
a. If there is speed discrimination​
: Telecom operators complain about how much 
bandwidth video takes up. So they might slow down YouTube so that you can  access other sites or get YouTube to pay them to keep the same speed or make  it faster. Why should you care? Because a Spuul or an Ogle might not be able to  do this (​

Read this​
), and might never work for you because they’ll be too slow.  YouTube wins. Also, if YouTube is made faster, the rest of your connection slows  down a little, because of limited bandwidth. YouTube has done deals with Airtel  before (​

Read this​
b. If there is price discrimination: ​
Did you like it when Airtel made VoIP (Skype, 
Viber) more expensive? Today you don’t really think about how much you pay to  access a site or an app because you’re paying to access the Internet, in kb and  mb. Airtel wants to change this. So a different price for shopping, maybe a  different price for Flipkart and Amazon. Instead...

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