Cost effective Connectivity in Rural Places

Net neutrality has a number of positives to offer people from different spheres of society. While the technologically empowered populace in urban areas of today can avail of services such as WhatsApp and Youtube without having to pay extra, net neutrality is a boon to citizens in rural places as well. At first glance, ventures like Facebook’s internet.org and Airtel Zero seem to be offer great benefits, especially to those who cannot afford an internet connection. As the saying goes however, there is no such thing as a free meal; the aforementioned ventures will end up dictating the way you and I use the internet in the long run. Mark Zuckerberg’s dream of providing ‘free internet’ to the masses conceals this little fact. Facebook’s denial of the fact that its internet.org initiative infringes on the principle of net neutrality is rather perplexing as the entire program is based on preferential treatment of data. Rural places in India are lucrative untapped markets that these plans look to target. Net neutrality ensures that people who have access to internet in rural areas can pick and choose the services that they wish to avail of. It guarantees that no single company can establish a monopoly of any sort in these areas. The need of the hour in rural places is not just any internet, but rather an internet that gives power to the people to make their own decisions on how to use it. Thus, net neutrality allows cost effective connectivity in rural places to exist without the risk of capitalist tendencies overpowering the needs of the people.

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