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Old 16th April 2015, 21:02   #151
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I wasn't trying to explain AirTel Zero, but proposing an alternate plan if AirTel and others are very eager to connect those who cannot afford to now.

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Originally Posted by ashua View Post
Why would I even think of moving on to a higher cost plan if I am already getting something for free. That just doesn't make sense to a regular user.
It's the same reason why data plans with different data rates and download limits exist now. Is everyone on the same low cost plan? Higher cost plan = better speeds and experience.

Problem with the zero cost plan now is that the operator's commercial agreements decide what sites you can access and not you.

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Actually it appears that its for free but I am paying for it indirectly as I buy something off of flipkart or when i click on all those facebook ads. But I don't know there is a better deal out there on the free open internet because i don't have a paid plan that offers me equal access.
In my "alternate" plan, no site is restricted - only data rates and download limits are restricted. Flipkart pays AirTel out of the goodness of their heart and commitment to Digital India - and for reaching millions more customers than they are now. If AirTel somehow inserts more Flipkart ads in their network to give Flipkart more bang for buck, that's fine too as long as they do not restrict access to other sites.
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Old 16th April 2015, 21:25   #152
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Default Re: The fight for net neutrality is on! Time to reclaim the internet

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Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
So you mean to say the learned people in India and Abroad who have already given repeated verdicts against such practices are all misled and mis-informed?

Well as someone said this is going to be a never ending debate, and i consider internet or rather access to it, as important as access to water and air, and believe it should be neutral in all manner possible.

Let us agree to disagree on that!
Why should internet (a man made object) be neutral to access like air and water? In-fact water too is not free and pretty soon scientists and sociologists are predicting water based wars between countries.

In today's world nothing comes for free and as long as people are willing to pay for something, there are people willing to hoard and people willing to sell. This net neutrality phenomena sounds good as long as it lasts, but I predict with time we will see paid internet as all other paid services.
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Old 16th April 2015, 21:49   #153
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Originally Posted by Vishal.R View Post
I know this is debated so much everywhere but still can’t resist myself.

For all AirTel Zero supporters.

1. Que: I am anyways spending most of my internet data on Facebook, WhatsApp and Google, What’s wrong if I am not being charged? Isn’t that very simple?

2. Counter Question : What If there is some messenger application comes which is a.) provide batter performance b.) has more features would you still down load and use it since it may attract more charge now? If not you are locked to WhatsApp

3. What if tomorrow one oil marketing company gives discount to Altos? Anyways most entry level car buyers uses Alto but doesn’t it kill competition (even if it is already small)? You still have choice to switch petrol pump but would you?
1. Yes. As long as the end consumer experiences least possible price.
2. I asked this question, earlier, perhaps you missed it: whatsapp was not free initially, even though there were a lot of other free apps. Still people used whatsapp and paid yearly subscription.
3. Oh boy. This would be superb. All the oil marketing companies would follow the suit and tie up with Alto or some or the other competitor. End result? Lower price for the end consumer.

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Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
1. So you mean to say the learned people in India and Abroad who have already given repeated verdicts against such practices are all misled and mis-informed?

2. Well as someone said this is going to be a never ending debate, and i consider internet or rather access to it, as important as access to water and air, and believe it should be neutral in all manner possible.

Let us agree to disagree on that!
1. Learned people doesn't mean they always think logically. Especially when they exist as a group and represent a team, and when there is serious lobbying done. Do you know the so called capitalist countries of EU are more socialist than India in almost ALL their policies related to workforce? Why? Mob rules!

2. To be brutal, wastage of any resource - water, air, fuel exists only because it is available for free or highly subsidized (due to political reasons - again mob rules!).

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Where you buy stuff, what videos you watch, what instant chat service you use--- all would be determined (or at least controlled) by whether you're a Vodafone or Airtel or Reliance customer. If that doesn't freak the bejeesus outta you, nothing will!
The choice will always remain, no on is taking that away.
Tie-ups will incentivise certain sellers more than others.
You are saying as if something of this sort never happens in brick and mortar life?

Last edited by alpha1 : 16th April 2015 at 21:51.
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Old 16th April 2015, 22:14   #154
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Default Re: The fight for net neutrality is on! Time to reclaim the internet

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Originally Posted by StarrySky View Post
It's the same reason why data plans with different data rates and download limits exist now. Is everyone on the same low cost plan? Higher cost plan = better speeds and experience.
For you and me who have known and grown up with a free internet, we would know what the low cost plan would give us Vs a high cost one. But for the future generations and for those that are less privileged and yet to get on the internet bandwagon being locked into a handful of services in the name of internet will be a sad state of affairs. This is truly a fight for the future of the internet (as we know and use today) in India.


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Originally Posted by apachelongbow View Post
Why should internet (a man made object) be neutral to access like air and water? In-fact water too is not free and pretty soon scientists and sociologists are predicting water based wars between countries.

In today's world nothing comes for free and as long as people are willing to pay for something, there are people willing to hoard and people willing to sell. This net neutrality phenomena sounds good as long as it lasts, but I predict with time we will see paid internet as all other paid services.
Since you are into analogies this might ring a bell. I read this somewhere on this very discussion:

Imagine a toll expressway that you just entered after paying a toll of Rs 200 (pune - mumbai). After entering it, you find that if you are travelling in a mercedes you get to take a fast lane since mercedes has paid an amount to the toll collector. Your car is not a mercedes but you would be ok with it as long as the other lanes are not clogged and you can travel as fast as you would have if you were in one.
Now on the same lines of the mercedes, a handful of other car vendors who can afford it enter into same agreements and the result is that there are now 2/3 lanes reserved for them. The other lanes start to remain perpetually clogged increasing your travel time and pain.

Eventually more and more people start to prefer a car which has an agreement in place because it makes their commute faster/easier. Doesn't matter it is indirectly charging you more (on top of the Rs. 100 that you paid). Doesn't matter it stops innovating on the car itself and is offering you old technology. Doesn't matter there are 5 other small car vendors out there which are better in every way.
Now why would we "car enthusiasts" what the small(ish) car vendors to run out of business . They are the ones that still cater to us man!!
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Old 16th April 2015, 23:00   #155
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Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
2. I asked this question, earlier, perhaps you missed it: whatsapp was not free initially, even though there were a lot of other free apps. Still people used whatsapp and paid yearly subscription.
Whatsapp keeps extending my free subscription every year. Why? Whatsapp dropped payment model when rivals offering free services caught up. Rivals caught up as people could access internet without restrictions and were free to choose what app they wanted. Customer gained.

Also, tomorrow as you say if Airtel's rivals come up with similar platforms, Whatsapp probably cannot afford not to join Zero plans of every vendor - or they will lose customers and this is bad for them. And if Whatsapp has to join Airtel Zero, Vodafone Zero, Idea Zero etc just to keep their existing user base, eventually they will have to start charging customers. Would that mean rivals catch up like they did now? Not if they have no money to pay the vendors.

This will probably happen for other services as well. If Flipkart is on Airtel Zero, Amazon cannot afford to miss out. If Amazon is on Idea Zero, Flipkart cannot afford miss out. If they have to pay everyone, that money will come from customers. Mobile customers with "zero cost internet" will be paying for their internet access without even realising it - and in the process make everything expensive for everyone else too. Would the "zero cost internet" customers then move away from these schemes and pay for internet? No, why would they if they still "think" their internet access does not cost them a penny?

Flipkart or Amazon or anyone else are not idiots not to realise where Airtel Zero type platforms will lead to. But they don't care because they will finally get the money from you.
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Old 16th April 2015, 23:24   #156
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2. To be brutal, wastage of any resource - water, air, fuel exists only because it is available for free or highly subsidized (due to political reasons - again mob rules!).
So, Alpha1, isn't the Airtel Zero plan a form of subsidy wherein the app vendor subsidies ppl from paying the internet data charges? If yes, won't that "subsidy" result in wastage of bandwidth?

People can spin it any way they wish, but there's no denying that Airtel zero will create an unequal playing field. And that in itself will stifle bandwidth, new innovations, and eventually jack up prices.
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Old 17th April 2015, 08:53   #157
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So what is being said is there is no free lunch, and they would make you pay in other ways. That is a fair argument, but I'd rather pay later. Especially since whether you have to pay is still ambiguous.

Now coming to the concept of a "level playing field" for all, why only the internet? As such low cost start ups face more hardships than deep-pocketed corporations. Do we create a level playing field there too? Something like every product should get equal shelf space in shopping malls?

There is no neutrality anywhere in this world. The world functions well without it.
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Old 17th April 2015, 09:52   #158
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Default Re: The fight for net neutrality is on! Time to reclaim the internet

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Originally Posted by apachelongbow View Post
Why should internet (a man made object) be neutral to access like air and water? In-fact water too is not free and pretty soon scientists and sociologists are predicting water based wars between countries.
I never said free, did i? I said neutral which means fair, does NOT mean free

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1. Learned people doesn't mean they always think logically. Especially when they exist as a group and represent a team, and when there is serious lobbying done. Do you know the so called capitalist countries of EU are more socialist than India in almost ALL their policies related to workforce? Why? Mob rules!
Good that you also acknowledge lobbying exists, and it is usually... rather almost always done by industries with vested interest. NOT the other way around and almost always against "so called" mob representations.

Judges, economists, technologist all agree that it is essential not to put such business interest first into something essential and deep impacting like internet.

Again please understand issue is only with having bias or restrictions by data carriers or service providers, no one actually has questioned their pricing motive, which by the way is another interesting topic to debate on.

I am curious, why do you think the neutrality concept is damaging? What are your points against this idea and how it is harmful?

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Old 17th April 2015, 10:07   #159
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Default Re: The fight for net neutrality is on! Time to reclaim the internet

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Originally Posted by blacksport View Post

Now coming to the concept of a "level playing field" for all, why only the internet? .
Because internet is like infrastructure. Like highways. Would you accept a system where you pay more toll if you go to McDonalds located in the same building as a Sagar Ratna?
Airtel Zero is so strongly opposed because this is how we go down a slippery support.

Some gentleman has been harping about how competition and free market will take care of everything.

Well it did not in the US.

As for competition, densely populated areas of India often have only airtel and BSNL. I live in one such area with a duopoly.
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Old 17th April 2015, 10:14   #160
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Default Re: The fight for net neutrality is on! Time to reclaim the internet

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Originally Posted by blacksport View Post
So what is being said is there is no free lunch, and they would make you pay in other ways. That is a fair argument, but I'd rather pay later. Especially since whether you have to pay is still ambiguous.

Now coming to the concept of a "level playing field" for all, why only the internet? As such low cost start ups face more hardships than deep-pocketed corporations. Do we create a level playing field there too? Something like every product should get equal shelf space in shopping malls?

There is no neutrality anywhere in this world. The world functions well without it.
What you have to pay isn't unknown right now, companies offer data plans to access the Internet, you can choose the operator in a lot of cases except for fixed lines to your home where the choice of operator is limited.

The level playing field isn't about hardship, it's about using deep pockets to shut down the competition, there are laws against the practice in nearly every advanced economy, read about Walmart in Germany and how they were prevented from destroying local competition. The shopping shelf example isn't applicable here, say, you wanted an item that your local store doesn't have and what if they pay the road operator to slow you down while going to a store that stocks what you want ? Would you still say that it's OK? The road is the Internet not the store shelf.

There is heavy regulation of utilities everywhere the world is indeed better for it.
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Old 17th April 2015, 11:08   #161
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Because internet is like infrastructure. Like highways. Would you accept a system where you pay more toll if you go to McDonalds located in the same building as a Sagar Ratna?
Airtel Zero is so strongly opposed because this is how we go down a slippery support.

Some gentleman has been harping about how competition and free market will take care of everything.

Well it did not in the US.

As for competition, densely populated areas of India often have only airtel and BSNL. I live in one such area with a duopoly.
Roads are government property not owned by private operators. Why should we trample on freedoms of private corporations? As far as I know the USA with free market did better than USSR with a controlled market.
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The level playing field isn't about hardship, it's about using deep pockets to shut down the competition, there are laws against the practice in nearly every advanced economy, read about Walmart in Germany and how they were prevented from destroying local competition.
This is exactly the same kind of fear mongering we hear every time a new reform arrives. We heard that FDI was introduced in retail. Walmart did not kill all the competition in USA, right?
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The shopping shelf example isn't applicable here, say, you wanted an item that your local store doesn't have and what if they pay the road operator to slow you down while going to a store that stocks what you want ? Would you still say that it's OK? The road is the Internet not the store shelf.
Lets get this analogy right. There is a toll road which charges Rs 100 one way, but if there is "free lane" that will take me to a particular shop that I can shop at, why shouldn't I take that lane?
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Old 17th April 2015, 11:13   #162
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An extremely well written letter by Odisha CM. Free is not the same as freedom!
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BxVv...FYcUtScms/edit

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Originally Posted by blacksport View Post
Roads are government property not owned by private operators. Why should we trample on freedoms of private corporations? As far as I know the USA with free market did better than USSR with a controlled market.
Nope. Spectrum is not owned. Its just like Toll roads. Not owned by operators, but they can collect toll.
Freedoms of corporations getting trampled. Are you serious. Corporations are free to charge anything they want for internet access. They are just not allowed do discriminate. Its a very simple principle. When you pay for X amount of data you should get X amount of data irrespective of which site you go to.


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This is exactly the same kind of fear mongering we hear every time a new reform arrives. We heard that FDI was introduced in retail. Walmart did not kill all the competition in USA, right?

Lets get this analogy right. There is a toll road which charges Rs 100 one way, but if there is "free lane" that will take me to a particular shop that I can shop at, why shouldn't I take that lane?
Wrong analogy. You cannot compare "goods" to something like infrastructure. Nowhere in the developed world such free lanes are tolerated. You keep talking about USA. where net neutrality legislation as passed. Infact, there is a movement to get telcos classified as common carriers, because that's what they are.

If you want an analogy, will you accept a system where electricity company can charge you 5rs a unit if you use an LG washing machine but 10rs per unit for other manufacturers since they have a tie up. If not, isn't that the right of the power company .

Last but not the least, capitalism and free market does not mean lack of regulation. Infact, when there is no regulation, or hostile regulation free market ceases to exist.

Take the cable business in India. Areas are divided into operators, and you have just one guy you can choose. In internet access(fixed line), already majority of India(except some cities like Bangalore and Hyd) have duopoly situation where you have just one or two operators.

That said, I feel you have already chosen sides in this fight. And so have a lot of others. No amount of logic or explaining will work because there is a fundamental disconnect.

People like me consider internet access like electricity. Companies are free to charge whatever they want. They are free to charge more for higher usage, and also create slabs, but what do I use the electricity for should be nobody's business. This I consider to be my right. Does it trample on the right of the power company? I don't think so. As a utility this is not a right in my book.

You on the other hand are comparing internet access to "goods". So you have walmart analogy, free market analogy.

With such a fundamental disconnect in the arguments, there is no point arguing.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Net Neutrality.pdf (1.50 MB, 138 views)

Last edited by GTO : 18th April 2015 at 10:40. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 17th April 2015, 11:34   #163
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Nope. Spectrum is not owned. Its just like Toll roads. Not owned by operators, but they can collect toll.
Freedoms of corporations getting trampled. Are you serious. Corporations are free to charge anything they want for internet access. They are just not allowed do discriminate. Its a very simple principle. When you pay for X amount of data you should get X amount of data irrespective of which site you go to.



Wrong analogy. You cannot compare "goods" to something like infrastructure. Nowhere in the developed world such free lanes are tolerated. You keep talking about USA. where net neutrality legislation as passed. Infact, there is a movement to get telcos classified as common carriers, because that's what they are.

If you want an analogy, will you accept a system where electricity company can charge you 5rs a unit if you use an LG washing machine but 10rs per unit for other manufacturers since they have a tie up. If not, isn't that the right of the power company .

Last but not the least, capitalism and free market does not mean lack of regulation. Infact, when there is no regulation, or hostile regulation free market ceases to exist.

Take the cable business in India. Areas are divided into operators, and you have just one guy you can choose. In internet access(fixed line), already majority of India(except some cities like Bangalore and Hyd) have duopoly situation where you have just one or two operators.

That said, I feel you have already chosen sides in this fight. And so have a lot of others. No amount of logic or explaining will work because there is a fundamental disconnect.

People like me consider internet access like electricity. Companies are free to charge whatever they want. They are free to charge more for higher usage, and also create slabs, but what do I use the electricity for should be nobody's business. This I consider to be my right. Does it trample on the right of the power company? I don't think so. As a utility this is not a right in my book.

You on the other hand are comparing internet access to "goods". So you have walmart analogy, free market analogy.

With such a fundamental disconnect in the arguments, there is no point arguing.
The problem with analogies is that they do not represent the exact situation that we are arguing about. Above, I wasn't creating an analogy, was just modifying an analogy that was already used by somebody else. To answer one of yours above, if LG agrees to pay the bill for running a LG washing machine, I would happily take it.

A regulated market is not a free market.

The real disconnect is about what we find morally right and wrong. Many people here think that the freedom of individuals are of more value than the freedom of corporations. I think that everybody should get to enjoy their freedoms - individual or corporation, rouge or saint. No need of any analogies.
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Old 17th April 2015, 12:02   #164
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A regulated market is not a free market.
So, if my mobile operator chooses what sites I can or can't access, how is it not a regulated market, but a free market?
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Old 17th April 2015, 12:07   #165
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Since you are into analogies this might ring a bell. I read this somewhere on this very discussion:

Imagine a toll expressway that you just entered after paying a toll of Rs 200 (pune - mumbai). After entering it, you find that if you are travelling in a mercedes you get to take a fast lane since mercedes has paid an amount to the toll collector. Your car is not a mercedes but you would be ok with it as long as the other lanes are not clogged and you can travel as fast as you would have if you were in one.
Now on the same lines of the mercedes, a handful of other car vendors who can afford it enter into same agreements and the result is that there are now 2/3 lanes reserved for them. The other lanes start to remain perpetually clogged increasing your travel time and pain.

Eventually more and more people start to prefer a car which has an agreement in place because it makes their commute faster/easier. Doesn't matter it is indirectly charging you more (on top of the Rs. 100 that you paid). Doesn't matter it stops innovating on the car itself and is offering you old technology. Doesn't matter there are 5 other small car vendors out there which are better in every way.
Now why would we "car enthusiasts" what the small(ish) car vendors to run out of business . They are the ones that still cater to us man!!
You are assuming that it will happen this way.
Just like Karl Marx assumed that private enterprises left on their own will exploit the workers.

How do you define better?
Better specs? LOL! If that was the case Alto would not be the success it is.
Safe? Again LOL. Read the above line.

In a free market, what is better is defined by how successful it is in being sold. Whether it is a Merc because of tieup with toll vendors or Alto.

Also a question for you and other who are so much for net neutrality. Since we always talk about pipes and toll roads while comparing internet - what are your views about variable toll prices? What that means is that the toll company can charge dynamic prices based on the amount of traffic on its road.

I am sure most people here would simply be shocked if something of this sorts arrive. That is because you have been lead into believing the concept of fairness.

Sorry, even if I see it from point of fairness - I find it unfair that a person traveling at lean period is forced to cough up the same amount as a person traveling at busy timings! Knowing that the current toll road has been especially designed keeping in mind the peak traffic (which means higher cost of investment, maintenance, operations).

This means I, a lean period traveler, who actually requires only 2 lane road, is FORCED to pay for a 4 lane roads because all the people around feel is is fair and just that everyone should pay the same.

Same thing on Airtel. I primarily use internet to check flipkart. Why should I pay for visiting Flipkart's store, when Flipkart is going to make money form my visit? I would be more than happy if Flipkart woos me by making my internet usage free!

You are robbing me by forcing me to pay the per MB rate just because you felt it is fair and everyone wants a neutral internet.


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1. Also, tomorrow as you say if Airtel's rivals come up with similar platforms, Whatsapp probably cannot afford not to join Zero plans of every vendor - or they will lose customers and this is bad for them. And if Whatsapp has to join Airtel Zero, Vodafone Zero, Idea Zero etc just to keep their existing user base, eventually they will have to start charging customers. Would that mean rivals catch up like they did now? Not if they have no money to pay the vendors.

2. This will probably happen for other services as well. If Flipkart is on Airtel Zero, Amazon cannot afford to miss out. If Amazon is on Idea Zero, Flipkart cannot afford miss out. If they have to pay everyone, that money will come from customers. Mobile customers with "zero cost internet" will be paying for their internet access without even realising it - and in the process make everything expensive for everyone else too. Would the "zero cost internet" customers then move away from these schemes and pay for internet? No, why would they if they still "think" their internet access does not cost them a penny?

3. Flipkart or Amazon or anyone else are not idiots not to realise where Airtel Zero type platforms will lead to. But they don't care because they will finally get the money from you.
1. The assumption is wrong. Airtel Zero is not saying that vendor registered with us cannot do business with anyone else. In fact even if it does say this, I have no problems. I am sure you will have no problems if Airtel open a rival to Flipkart. And makes the access to it FREE. Would you?
2. Do you think your newspaper really costs what you pay for? No the advertisers pay for you. Because they want to grab your eyeballs that can lead to a potential sale. You buy newspaper at lower than manufacturing costs, knowing fully well that the seller will recover the cost of advertising from you if you decide to buy. What is wrong in this practice?
3. What is wrong in this practice?

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Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
Ok -
If LG agrees to pay the bill, for running a LG washing machine, most customers would happily sign up for it.
But, what if, your Electric DisCom, prevents you from using a Samsung washing machine, irrespective of whether or not, Samsung is paying the bill, then what would you do?
Or, if the Electric DisCom, wants to charge you a punitive tariff in case you choose to use a Samsung or any other brand machine.

Would that be fair, in your opinion?
Do you think Samsung will sit back and take this happily?
Electric Discoms have a Govt licensed monopoly and when they do it, you have no other alternative.
Here you have several alternative to Airtel.
Please don't create panic by equating two opposite scenarios.

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Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Good that you also acknowledge lobbying exists, and it is usually... rather almost always done by industries with vested interest. NOT the other way around and almost always against "so called" mob representations.
Yes I agree with what you say, but tell me why lobbying - the way you suggest - exists?
And do you not agree that public lobbying also exists to oppose corporate practices?
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I am curious, why do you think the neutrality concept is damaging? What are your points against this idea and how it is harmful?
I have given the toll road analogy equality/neutrality above.

Last edited by alpha1 : 17th April 2015 at 12:26.
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