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Sajib Nandi posted a topic in Off TopicBy Pranav Dixit in Hindustantimes.com on Apr 05, 2015 Battle for open internet: Will you now have to pay for WhatsApp, YouTube? On December 25, 2014, Airtel, the country's largest mobile operator with over 200 million active subscribers, dropped a bombshell: it wanted to charge customers extra for using services like Skype, Viber and Google Hangouts even though they had already paid for Internet access. If customers wanted to use a service that used Internet data to make voice calls - something known as VoIP - they would need to subscribe to an additional VoIP pack, the company said. Airtel was double-dipping and customers were furious. The tweets flew thick and fast. In less than four days, Airtel backtracked on its plans. It would wait, it said, for a consultation paper about net neutrality that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) would publish soon. Net neutrality sounds like a scary term but what it means is simply this: on the Internet, all bits are equal. What you do with the data you pay for - watch a YouTube video, send a WhatsApp message or make a Skype call - is entirely your prerogative and in an ideal world, your Internet service provider should not prioritise certain kinds of bits over others. A neutral Internet is a utility like electricity - if your power company, for instance, doesn't have a say in how you use the electricity it provides, why should an Internet service provider get to decide what you do with the bits you pay for? "The Internet is built on principles of openness and freedom, and at the core of this is nondiscrimination at an ISP level," says Nikhil Pahwa, editor of Medianama and a vocal advocate for net neutrality. Right now, thanks to the rise of apps like WhatsApp, which eat into operators' SMS revenues, and video-streaming services like YouTube and Netflix, which consume massive amounts of bandwidth, these principles of openness and freedom are being challenged around the world. In the United States, for example, video-streaming service Netflix was forced to pay Comcast, the country's largest Internet service provider, to retain its access to consumers or risk being throttled. The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) only recently voted to regulate broadband as a public utility - no splitting the Internet into fast and slow lanes as operators had wanted. The FCC was promptly sued by the United States Telecom Association, a trade group that represents some of the country's largest Internet providers. Back home, the TRAI, too, has been busy. This week, it released a consultation paper - a mind-numbing 118-page document - and 20 questions that it wants you (yes, you!) to answer about why you think you deserve (or don't deserve) an open Internet. "The TRAI consultation leans significantly towards finding some middle ground between what the telecom industry wants and the Internet that we've all grown up with," says Pahwa, who, along with 70 other enthusiasts, crunched it down to a concise 23 pages that you can actually understand (you can access the abridged version on Medianama's website). "In my opinion, any compromise on the principles of net neutrality or on any attempt to license online companies is unacceptable." Indeed, the paper begins by classifying everything on the Internet as we know it - Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, Hike, Amazon, Flipkart, Ola, Facebook Messenger, BlackBerry Messenger, iMessage, online games, music streaming services like Pandora and more - as OTT, telecom industry jargon for "over-the-top" services. "It's ridiculous," says Pahwa. "All these services are the whole reason why we pay these service providers for Internet access in the first place." So how will having a non-neutral Internet affect you? For starters, you can say goodbye to paying a flat fee for using a certain amount of data each month and accessing whatever you want. Your Internet will be sliced up into "packs" - `50 extra for a YouTube pack, for instance, `30 for a WhatsApp pack, `20 to access Google search, and on and on it goes. Your operator might also decide to charge a service like YouTube if it wishes to reach you. If YouTube - or any other service - doesn't pay up, it risks being slowed down. Operators can also use this tactic to strategically push their own services over the competition. Airtel, for example, owns a music-streaming app called Wynk, which it might provide full access to its own network while throttling competitors like Gaana or Saavn. It's important to remember that it's not just telecom companies that are interested in a non-neutral Internet in India. According to the TRAI consultation paper, 83 percent of India's Internet users access the Internet from their mobile phones. This massive audience is crucial for multi-billion dollar corporations like Twitter, Facebook and Google. In February, Reliance Communications and Facebook partnered to launch Internet.org in India, a service whose ostentatious aim was to bring the Internet to the next billion people. In reality, Internet.org grossly violated net neutrality by offering free access to a handpicked list of websites and social networks for free, while making users pay for others; Google bundled free data with its Android One phones; and WhatsApp tied up with multiple providers across the country to provide "WhatsApp Packs." But if things are bad for consumers, they're worse for businesses and startups that rely on an open Internet to reach customers. "If I'm building an app, I need to know that a new feature, which I may not have thought of today, can be added later without me having to first negotiate a deal with an operator," says Rohin Dharmakumar, an entrepreneur who is in the process of launching Owntastic, a Bangalore-based startup that focuses on after-sales experience once a consumer buys a product. "I'm very worried." Dharmakumar adds that regulating the Internet in this manner will ensure that India's booming startup culture is nipped in the bud. "Startups will die." Right now, businesses and companies are free to operate whatever services they want over the Internet. "Features become full businesses," says Pahwa. "That freedom will get constrained by this approach to maximise revenues by restricting. Telecom operators should be seeking to maximise revenues by making us use more of the Internet. They're slicing the pie instead of growing the pie."
akhilesh yadav posted a topic in RTI in MediaNEW DELHI: A poor prisoner in Kolhapur in Maharashtra had to approach the CIC for a simple piece of information - the PIN code directory of postal department - as he did not have access to Internet to know the correct code for sending letters to his family. Read more at:http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46529076.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
The Ministry of External Affairs has issued a public notice on 30 May 2014 clearly stating that there is no system in place for having any recogonised/authorised passport agents and warned the public about such agents: http://passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/pdf/Advisory_Caution_For_Public.pdf MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS CPV DIVISION ...... PUBLIC NOTICE No. CPV/PMU/551/10/11 30 May, 2014 It has come to the Ministry’s notice that some private portals/individuals have been claiming that they are ‘recognised /authorised’ by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, to extend passport assistance to the public. The Ministry hereby makes it clear that the passport portal (www.passportindia.gov.in) is the only Government portal offering passport services to citizens within India. The portal is web-based and can be accessed by anyone, anytime, anywhere for seeking passport services. There is no system in place to ‘recognise/authorise’ any individual or any travel agency in this regard in the country. Any one dealing with such fraudulent portals/advertisers/claimants, will do so at his/her own risk and consequence. =============== This is probably a result of countless RTIs filed by me regarding "recogonised/authorised" agents. Generally these were touts who acted in collusion with the RPO staff. In fact the situation in Hyderabad RPO was so bad under the previous Passport Officer that when an citizen applied for a passport, the "information" would be leaked to a agent. The applicant would then get a call from the agent offering to expedite the process on payment of money. The RPO Hyderabad has now got a service desk manned by es serviceman who help complete the application process - for a very small fee. But we Indians are very smart.....the business of agents has now been taken over by Internet Cafes....who help get people appointments in PSKs - also in collusion with the RPO staff and sadly even the TCS staff.
Hi, I need to know why broadband connection is not provided to the customers of MTNL in a particular area and what MTNL has done so far to provide one.I have prepared the following query to be submitted to the PIO.Please guide to make it effective and right way to ask the questions. (3) Particulars of the information required (i) Subject matter of Information: Wired Broadband Internet Connection (ii) Description of the information required: (a) Area in Concern : Kharodi Village, Off Marve Road, Malad (West), Mumbai - 400 095. (b) Please provide detailed reason for non provision of Wired Broadband Internet Connection through MTNL wired landline to the consumers of MTNL residing in the area mentioned in (ii) (a). © Please provide details of the steps taken, till date,by the Department to make Wired Broadband Internet Connection available in the area mentioned in (ii) (a). (d) Please State the alternative solution for the customers of MTNL to get Wired Broadband Internet Connection through MTNL wired landline.
Voter ID card is the most necessary identity proof that we need every time. But there is a rule for a Vote ID card holder. If you are 18 years old then you can apply for Voter ID card. After getting a Voter ID card you are able to vote. The Voter ID card can be used as your identity proof at any where. Now you can register voter ID card online. The online voter ID card registration details available at free-download-blog.com.
rsiyengar posted a topic in Off Topicwe have been without Internet connection since last 45 days. we have complained to authorities of BSNL to look into the matter seriously. Till date, there is no response from them? my telephone BSNL no: (Posting of mob. no. is against RTI India - Forum Rules - hence deleted) which is not getting internet connection since last 45 days.
Hi all, I have a few questions: 1. How does one file an RTI application? Is there a set format? Is there a form that needs to be filled? Can somebody send me an application that you have filed so I can use it as an example to better understand? 2. Where is the office where the application needs to be filed in Pune? Where do I need to pay the fee? 3. The RTI site mentions that the application can be filed either in paper or electronically? Can you highlight the procedure of filing the application electronically? Can the payment also be made electronically? I really really really need to use this tool. Please help.
Is there a facility for submitting RTI applications, appeals, complaints and correspondence online via internet and by e-mail? Is there a directory of internet e-mail ids, urls of online application forms, and contact details of CIC, SIC, CPIO, PIO and various officers who can be contacted by e-mail and respond to the same.