INDIA HAS just shown the world why it's one of the coolest nations on earth by laying down some of the strictest net neutrality regimes in the world.
Whilst the US is still fumbling after FCC head Ajit ‘Pumpkin' Pie deregulated the internet to please his cable pals, India has just past a whole chunk of recommendations from the Telecom Regulatory Association of India (TRAI) to ensure it will never go the same way.
For those unfamiliar, net neutrality means that all data that passes over the internet is treated equally with no ‘fast lanes' for paying customers.
The recommendations include a ban on data speed throttling and that all content must be treated the same.
Telecom secretary Aruna Sundarajan told the press that: "Any deviations and violations of the rules of net neutrality -- which come into effect almost immediately -- will be met with stiff penalties," reports the BBC
With more and more Indians coming online - it's estimated to have hit the 500 million mark last month - the need for net neutrality clarity is important.
Several companies, including local provider Airtel and Facebook, had attempted to offer basic, free data services for Indians who may not necessarily be running the latest devices or be able to afford unlimited data plans.
This is outlawed under the new rules as the pages under the ‘walled garden' of such services could be considered as prioritised.
Instead, many of the worlds biggest companies are producing stripped down or ‘Lite' versions of their apps. Skype, Uber, Instagram, Messenger and the entire Android Go ecosystem are available in stripped down, less data-hungry forms, allowing those with lower spec devices and limited plans get access.
In fact, we're finding many of the Lite apps are better than their big brothers and sisters, suggesting that a solution aimed at catering for ‘the next billion' could really be on to something.
Plus the more nations that commit to net neutrality, the better off we all are - and as one of the fastest growing internet destinations in the world, India's commitment will have repercussions about itself. μ
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