Net Neutrality And Economics 101 (Part II)

In Part I, I attempted to provide an overview of the ISP market structure, market players and associated economic phenomena. In Part II, we will be discussing the more specific topic of Net Neutrality and its intersection with economics.

Please note that over the course of the ensuing write-up, I have referred to two kinds of fees:

(i) Fee imposed by the ISP on the end-consumers

(ii) Fee imposed by the ISP on the content providers.

So, please pay close attention to the exact nature of the fee throughout the piece.

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Network Neutrality Around The World : A Basic Overview

Network Neutrality () refers to a network wherein participants are effectively blind to the nature of data flowing through the network. Another way of defining NN is a network wherein participants are restricted from differential treatment of data flow. Please understand that the definitions provided above are, in cliché speak, two sides of the same coin. Even if a participant can distinguish the nature of data flowing through a network, the participant is considered to be effectively blind, if said participant doesn’t interfere with the data flow. I have discussed the basic concepts and issues surrounding NN here.

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TRAI’s Consultation Paper on Net Neutrality and the Regulatory Approach to Net Neutrality in India

An explanation of the regulatory and policy approaches analysed by the TRAI in their Consultation Paper

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An explanation of the regulatory and policy approaches analysed by the TRAI in their Consultation Paper

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RELIANCE JIO: REGULATORY AND PRIVACY IMPLICATIONS

Ed. Note.: This post, by Sayan Bhattacharya, is a part of the NALSAR Tech Law Forum Editorial Test 2016.

In the world of technology dominated by a power struggle in terms of presence and absence in data circles, Reliance Jio has probably made the biggest tech news of the year with its revolutionary schemes. By adopting a loss-leader strategy of immediate loss and ultimate dominance, Reliance Jio has promised its subscribers stellar features like free voice calls, extremely cheap data packages, abolition of national roaming  charges and striking down extra rates on national holidays on shifting to its network. This is set to significantly affect competition by taking India’s data scenario from a data scarcity to data abundance mode.

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Meet the New Internet, Same as the Old, Old Internet – except its not the Internet (Part III – the Future of Networks)

The roots of the Internet, in Tim Berners-Lee's original proposal. (Image Source: https://flic.kr/p/67bqGj)
The roots of the Internet, in Tim Berners-Lee’s original proposal. (Image Source: https://flic.kr/p/67bqGj)

This is the third post in this series; the first two, which set the background for the issue, are available here and here.

The question therefore becomes – is it time we look beyond the ‘internet’ as it exists, to newer models of communication? The ‘models’ I refer to here are not absolutely novel – nothing under the sun is. These models still rely on the TCP/IP protocol, still use parts of the ‘internet’, still use the network laid down for it – learn from it, and improve it. These models, in fact, bring to mind the original image that was created of the internet, so much so that we can actually call these models of communication the legacies of the ideas of the ‘original internet’, challenging the dominance of the ‘neo-internet’. So is it time we focus on these models, develop them, and mark the decline of the ‘neo-internet’?

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