This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor – Desmond Tutu
Neutrality: To be or not to be
Vol. III, No. 17, 24 April 2 015
“Damsel in distress”. As an end user, I am confused and so would you be. I have decided to maintain my
neutrality on the debate, knowing very well that staying neutral in a situation means siding the
oppressor. Interestingly, in this case, the big question is, “Who is the oppressor”?
Take 1: All those who chose to side with the end users, are
better placed. Most television channels and print media
virtually smashed Airtel Zero and Internet.org for
providing a platform to the so-‐called powerful lobbies of
the companies willing to spend bucks to provide the
services for free to the users. The argument against these
companies is that only the “BIG” companies have that kind
of fortune to spend. What about the start-‐ups and the
small entrepreneurs who wish to become “BIG” in the
future. Some critics go on to say “Flipkart would not have Source: http://www.wordstream.com/images/what-isbecome so big had they been throttled by platforms such net-neutrality-video-blocked.jpg
as Airtel Zero”; an allegation that Airtel has strongly
refuted by reaching out to its employees and the customers. Some people have interestingly put across
questions like “Whose internet is it anyway”? How can the telecom companies act as ‘Gatekeepers’ and
deny the basic access to freedom of Internet.
Take 2: The companies caught on the wrong foot have an opinion of their own. They have alleged some
section of the media to mislead the public by spreading rumors about “Net Neutrality”. They have
persistently maintained their stand that this is nothing but a ‘Toll free’ platform. It would not throttle
the speed of few but will lead to access for many. The urgent need to provide such platform is
substantiated by numbers. The percentage of internet users in India ranges between 15% to 20% as
per different estimates. These numbers provide a huge scope for platforms like these to fill the void and
convert the dream of ‘Digital India’ into reality.
Internationally, the developed countries have almost taken a stance not to tamper the market forces
but countries like Chile, Norway and Netherlands have already blocked such moves. In India, with the
number of participants and the emails sent to TRAI in this debate swelling every day, whatever the
result, one thing is very sure. The companies providing ‘World Wide Web’ are themselves caught in the
Written By: Dilpreet Singh,
Faculty of Marketing, CBS
information is taken from sources believed to be reliable but is not guaranteed by Chitkara
Business School as to its accuracy. Chitkara Business School will not be responsible for any
interpretations, opinions generated or decisions taken by readers.