HOME > CONSUMER > APPS > Zee TV warns against plans by Airtel, Idea, Vodafone etc to dilute net neutrality

Zee TV warns against plans by Airtel, Idea, Vodafone etc to dilute net neutrality

musicFollowing Star TV and Sony, Zee TV has also come out strongly against any move to allow telecom operators to charge websites for content viewed by their consumers over the Internet.

At present, any person is free to start a website, app or any other content service on the Internet, and telecom providers like Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio and Vodafone are not allowed to block his or her website or service or demand money.

“The current question is whether for the same volume, customers can be offered differential tariffs, and the difference be bartered from the Content provider or application provider website… The question posed by TRAI is whether the TSPs can offer such plans and obtain in barter the charges from the Application providers.”

Under the new ‘Zero Rating’ new scheme proposed by telecom operators — and debated by the TRAI — there would be a new non-neutral Internet where both content producer as well as content consumer will have to pay.

Any website or user that refuses to pay will be blocked, and the website will not be accessible to the subscribers of that service.

Since nearly all the wireless spectrum in the country are in the hands of 5 or 6 operators, a website that does not pay these six companies will not be able to reach practically any consumer in India through the ‘non neutral’ Internet.

Zee TV said this will be a big blow to start-ups and will prevent any new website or app from coming up, as they have to start paying Airtel, Vodafone and the others even before they’ve got their first customer.

Traditionally, Internet services (including Google, Youtube, Facebook, news portals etc) generate revenue through ads which barely cover their operating expenses. If forced to also pay telecom companies, such independent websites and apps could become totally unviable.

As a result, Internet users will be forced to get their news, videos, messengers, social networking and so on from websites and apps owned and operated by Airtel, Idea, Jio etc..

Airtel, for example, has unveiled its own music downloading software called Wynk and gives special data benefits for those who download the software. This hurts the chances of third party music apps like Hungama, Gaana etc. Similarly, Reliance Jio has Jio Chat, which competes with WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger etc.. Similarly, at least one telecom operator has plans to enter the ecommerce business, which will hurt Flipkart and Amazon.

Allowing operators to charge more for third-party apps and promote their own could also hurt the quality of services as telecom operators’ apps and websites — which may not be of the best quality — will be able to keep other competitors from succeeding in the market due to differential pricing.

“Non-discriminatory internet access Internet is key to India’s startups and innovative service providers. We need them to grow to global levels, rather than allow the Indian landscape to be dominated by selective international players who are able to pay for content.. in no case there should be differential pricing which is not equally applicable to all sites which provide the same application or service,” Zee said.

“Zero-rated mobile traffic is blatantly anti-competitive price discrimination designed to favor telecom service providers own or their partners’ apps while placing competing apps at a disadvantage… Telecom providers cover the costs to users of accessing certain hand-picked sites and apps which are their own. This is a TSP and Content Owner combination and should under no circumstances be permitted.”

The principle of Cross ownership between TSPs and their own sites for Application or content needs specific attention and should be specifically prohibited. In some cases, TRAI may need to lift the “Corporate Veil” and ensure that the rules are not being violated by restructuring entities,” it added.

In the early days of value added services, telecom operators used to run such a system, where they kept 85% of the revenue generated by such content services for themselves and only gave 15% to the company who actually provided the videos, songs, games and so on. This resulted in very high cost of consumption, such as paying Rs 5 to listen to one song and so on.

However, with the rise of the Internet, telecom operators could no longer charge content companies as they could not block any website or service without legal sanction. As a result, now they get revenue only from their consumers.

Net neutrality “is the principle that calls for the Internet to remain free and open – with no “fast lanes” that would allow some content providers to take priority over others. The core principles that best outline the scope of the concept are:

(i) All sites must be equally accessible: ISPs and telecom operators shouldn’t block certain sites or apps just because they don’t pay them. No gateways should be created, in order to give preferential discovery to one site over another.

(ii) All sites must be accessible at the same speed (at an ISP/Telco level): This means no speeding up of certain sites because of business deals. More importantly, it means no slowing down some sites.

Non-discriminatory access is the heart of net neutrality. Differential pricing if allowed would result in discriminatory regime thereby violating the very essence of net neutrality,” Zee TV said.

The media giant also pointed to new draft rules proposed by the US regulator on net neutrality.

The FCC has proposed to reclassify broadband internet access service as a telecommunication service under Title II of the US Communication Act and centred its net neutrality proposal on three so called Bright Line Rules: 1) no blocking 2) no throttling 3) no paid prioritization commonly referred to as ‘fast lanes’… On the same lines, Zee Network would like to oppose any selective Zero rating or differential rating plan where, for example, one Streaming Website of content is offered at Zero Cost, but other Streaming Websites which offer similar streaming are charged.”

You can also read the full submission or read Sony TV’s comments, or that of Star India.

Follow ULTRA.news
Why Reliance JIO’s new tariff plan is BAD for Bharti Airtel, Idea & Vodafone Airtel's stock performance (2002-2017)The stock of Bharti Airtel is at a two-year high, not far from its life-highs of late 2007, but going by the latest tariffs unveiled by Reliance Jio, investors will do well to hold off on the bubbly for a while longer.Airtel closed a...
JIO Wallet Offers: Paytm, Amazon, PhonePe give cashback on 399 recharge Wallet players like Paytm, Mobikwik, PhonePe and AmazonPay have come up with cash back offers for Reliance Jio users who want to take advantage of the Rs 399 recharge scheme valid till today midnight.Last week, India's largest wireless Internet provider said anyone rechargin...
The Economics of Bharti Airtel’s 7777 offer on the iPhone 8 Bharti Airtel announced that it will sell high-end smartphones online with instant financing.The phones, including the iPhone 8, will be available at low downpayment and bundled monthly packages, which will make them more or less free of charge.The model was first tried ...
Bharti Airtel merges Ghana arm with Tigo of Millicom Bharti Airtel said it is merging its operations in the African nation of Ghana with the local unit of Millicom International Cellular."Under the joint agreement, Airtel and Millicom will have equal ownership (50:50) and governance rights in the combined entity, which will ha...
Reliance Jio’s New 4G Plans: No More Tariff Increases? Jio's new 4G tariff from Oct 19Reliance Jio has unveiled a set of new plans that will come into effect from tomorrow, effecting a price increase of about 15% to existing tariff.The phrasing of the new plans also suggests that these are 'regular' plans, and not promotiona...
Reliance Jio to withdraw Rs 399 plan next week Most customers of Reliance Jio, the country's largest telecom operator by volumes, will not be able to get the 84GB-for-399 plan starting next month, the company's deputy chief financial officer V Srikant said on Friday.Asked how the company's average revenue per user (billi...
Surprisingly, Reliance Jio is already profitable at PAT level Reliance Jio has reported revenue of Rs 7,213 cr, including GST, and an operating profit of Rs 261 cr for the second quarter of the financial year.However, after deducting costs related to the wear and tear of its machines, Reliance Jio reported a pretax loss of 414 cr. This...
Reliance Jio breaks even on opg level, 9.62 GB avg consumption per month Reliance Jio has reported revenue of Rs 7,213 cr and an operating profit of Rs 261 cr for the second quarter of the financial year.Per capita data consumption was 9.62 GB per user per month.Average voice consumption was 626 minutes per month during the period, it added. ...
BSNL to increase minimum broadband speed to withstand Jio Fiber Existing BSNL plansState-owned telecom provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd will increase the speed cap on all its DSL and Fiber broadband plans to 10 Mbps. At present, most plans have a speed cap of 4 Mbps.However, higher speeds will be available only in areas which are re...
Tata Tele acquisition good for Bharti Airtel – Fitch Bharti Airtel Limited's (BBB-/Stable) announcement that it plans to acquire the consumer mobile operations of Tata Teleservices and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Ltd (Tata Telecom business) is positive for the deal participants as well as the industry, Fitch Ratings said.B...
Reliance Jio quarterly numbers to be announced today; new tariff plans eyed Reliance Industries, the parent of telecom operator Jio, will announce its quarterly performance numbers at around 5 pm today.Besides its core oil and gas business, the company will give an update on the operations of its telecom unit.Some in the market even expect it t...
Tata Teleservices to merge mobile business with Bharti Airtel Bharti Airtel Limited, India’s largest telecommunications services provider and Tata, India’s leading conglomerate, today announced that they have entered into an understanding to merge Consumer Mobile Businesses (CMB) of TTSL and TTML into Bharti Airtel.The move is likely ...
Reliance Jio to launch new plans on Thursday, offers 100% cashback Reliance Jio, India's most popular wireless data provider, said it will introduce new plans from Oct 19, and that it was offering "100%" cashback on its popular recharge of Rs 399 that gives three months of services.In a promotion put up on its website, the company said the ...
Airtel counters JioPhone with smartphone at Rs 1,399 net price Bharti Airtel has announced a scheme to offer a 4-inch smartphone at an effective price of Rs 1,399 -- after cash backs -- to take on the challenge posed by Reliance Jio's Jiophone.The customer needs to make a down payment of Rs 2899 for the 4G smartphone. He will get a cash...
Idea, Airtel offer 84 GB 4g data for Rs 400 to target users Airtel PlansIdea Cellular and Bharti Airtel are offering 1 GB of 3G or 4G data per day for 84 days at a price of around Rs 400 in select circles, including voice benefits, matching Jio's lowest tariff.The offer is available only for targeted users.For example, for so...
Idea Cellular offers 28 GB 3G/4G data for Rs 250 Idea Cellular, which has been under pressure in recent months due to aggressive offerings from rivals Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio, has unveiled a new promotional offer that gives 1 GB per day for 28 days at a price of around Rs 250.Unlike other plans, this one does not off...
RCom withdraws scheme for sale of tower co to Brookfield Reliance Communications said it has filed with the National Company Law Tribunal to withdraw its demerger scheme for its tower assets.The move follows the cancellation of its plans to merge with Aircel Cellular due to regulatory issues.The company Anil Ambani-led company...
After Aircel deal failure, RCom changes board composition Reliance Communications inducted its CEO and the president of its telecom business into its board of directors.Punit Garg, President, Telecom Business and Chief Financial Officer V Manikantan have been appointed as non-indepedent directors on the company board.The move c...
RCom likely to shut more 2G, 3G networks, sell the spectrum Reliance Communications, which announced it was abandoning plans to merge with Aircel Cellular, indicated that it would focus on two segments - 4G and wired. Within wired, it would focus on enterprise services.The disclosure indicates that the company, -- which recently shut ...
JIO IMPACT: India mobile data usage up 500%, price down 97% in 1 year The average data consumed by wireless users in India has increased five fold in the last year one year, even as prices crashed by 97% due to the launch of Reliance Jio.For India as a whole, the total consumption of wireless data touched 4.3 bln GB in the three months from Ap...