One of the unconference sessions proposed by LIRNEasia has been chosen. Time and place will be announced here.
Zero Rating violates Net Neutrality – so what?
Zero Rated content doesn’t count towards his/her data cap. Users can consume this content for free/very cheap, while paying “regular” data fees for others. For example, Facebook’s text only version can be Zero Rated, but if users click on video/ photo/ links outside of FB, they pay the normal (higher) rate.
For operators, it’s a way to entice users to the Internet, and (in the long term) convert them to paying users. For OTTs it’s a way to make their content popular, attractive ad revenue. For consumers, it’s a way to experience some Internet.
Win win? Many think otherwise. Users may think the Internet = Facebook (or what ever is inside the Walled Garden). OTTs & Telcos may make deals to determine who gets inside the walled garden. One music streaming service may demand others be kept out. Telcos may throttle non-ZR traffic creating Internet fast lanes.
But wait – with less than 20% of the people in most poor Asian countries using the Internet isn’t SOME INTERNET better than NO INTERNET? And are competition harms real in highly competitive telecom markets (e.g. Asia) – where switching costs are low for OTTs and users?
India and other regulators are considering banning Zero Rated content. Is there another way? Join our timely debate.