Owing to extreme criticism from across the nation over the violation of net neutrality, ecommerce giant Flipkart has ditched its Airtel Zero partnership. Before we get into the reasons due to which Flipkart took this step, it will be helpful to understand what exactly ‘net neutrality’ is and is it necessary to have net neutrality?
A term coined by Tim Wu, net neutrality basically means that internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites. In short all internet traffic (whether from desktop or mobile app) must be treated equally and all the resources and benefits should be accessible to all individuals and companies.
Based on this principle internet service providers or/ and government should not block or throttle an ISP as well as refrain from paid prioritization. Along with this net neutrality also pitches for increased transparency in the interconnection between internet and ISPs in order to check the special treatment which certain websites might gain.
Why is it necessary to have net neutrality?
Usually new entrepreneurs and startups rely hugely on open internet to create a market of their own - A market where they can easily launch their business, goods and services. If the access to open market is curtailed it will surely hurt their business and might even lead to premature shut downs. On the contrary it net neutrality will help the already well established companies to expand, curbing innovation and job opportunities which these start-ups and entrepreneurs provide.
Thus net neutrality is very crucial to build a level playing ground for businesses as well as entrepreneurs. Not only will it benefit businesses but it will also give a lot inject fair competition in the market and provide better products and services to the end user.
Why is it in news?
Recently internet provider Airtel came up with Airtel Zero – a platform which allows app makers to pay for the data accessed by its users. Flipkart was among the first of the ecommerce sites to partner with this Airtel program. This move has been seen as a violation of net neutrality and attracted lot of flak and criticism from all the quarters of the society.
Due the massive backlash which Flipkart received for its Airtel Zero partnership, today it pulled out of the same with a promise to commit to the cause of net neutrality.
This surely is a positive move by the ecommerce giant and has been welcomed and appreciated by all. This move all is a triumph of free knowledge sharing and open internet.