2 years ago
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Net Neutrality in Nepal
We usually heard Net neutrality or Network Neutrality in Nepal these days but many of us do not know much about it. Some time we think Net Neutrality means neutrality in net speed or neutrality in other thing but it is different from that what we think.
Actually, the principle of Net Neutrality states that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and government should treat internet equally. This means that the charge of using website should remain same irrespective of whichever website we use. For instance, NEA in Nepal charges same rate for the entire users, they do not see what they use. Our ISPs and government should charge same rate and should provide same speed whether we use Facebook, YouTube or any other site.
Internet and data is the telecom’s biggest revenue source because of massive use of these services, which is steadily increasing in recent years. It is somewhat costlier for general people but a large number of people seem to be investing heavily on internet by buying data packages and unlimited connection. It is obvious that free service will attract and create huge engagement for the service. This will benefit the company due to larger conversion rate and telecom companies as well because of people preferring their services.
In the context of Nepal, the condition of Net Neutrality is not so good. Every ISP charges different charge for different site and even the price for the same speed also differ. We can freely use “Twitter” and “Wikipedia” on Ncell. We have to pay extra charge if we use sites other than these. These types of services help someone for certain duration but invite a practice of unhealthy competition. Even other companies may provide some features free of cost but will charge extra on other services they provide. If we are using data package of any service provider, they exclude the charge of VoIP call and charge additional data while making online calls, which is dangerous practice that may benefit only the service providers. If there is no net neutrality new site will never get chance to grow, and people cannot enjoy the new services.
There are some benefits of not having net neutrality. With this people can attract to the digital world and can know more things about the world. Students can search the difficult topic and can get reference at free of cost. It also helps promote the new site if they are provided free of cost.
If telecommunications and ISPs really want that there, people should benefit from their service then they should try to provide high speed at low cost with same rate for all services. Government and other stakeholders should make such rule that would benefit both the users as well as telecommunication service provider.
In conclusion, if we can maintain net neutrality today, it would be beneficial for both sides and otherwise ISPs and telecommunications will be more powerful than stakeholders.
Joshi is studying in IVth semester BBM at Saraswati Multiple Campus, Thamel.