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What is Net Neutrality and how it affects an individual?

Representative picture. Photograph: (Others)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 11, 2018, 10.21 PM (IST)

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers including cable companies and wireless providers should treat all internet traffic equally and not discriminate or charge to extra to put certain internet content in the "first lane" allowing favoured content to load more quickly.

Net Neutrality creates an "open internet" platform which gives an opportunity to all individuals, companies and organisations to equally access full resources of the internet to operate meaning it does not matter if one tries to access giants of the internet like Facebook or Netflix or any other small sites the page will take equal time to load.

The debate on network neutrality in India gathered public attention after Airtel, a mobile telephony service provider in India, announced in December 2014 additional charges for making voice calls (VoIP) from its network using apps like WhatsApp, Skype, etc

The violations of net neutrality in India have been reported such as Facebook's Internet.org, Aircel's Wikipedia Zero along with Aircel's free access to Facebook and WhatsApp, Airtel's free access to Google, and RCom's free access to Twitter.

However, on Wednesday, the highest decision-making body in India's telecom ministry, the Telecom Commission, backed net neutrality as it approved new recommendations given by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in a meeting.

Recently, US repealed its free internet rules and chose to allow internet providers to charge more for certain websites through commercial agreements.

The said rule is in effect in the US from June 11.

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