oppn parties Telcos Start Backhand Campaign to Garner Support for Zero Plans

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  • JNU students march against the steep hike in fees, keep HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal stuck at the venue of the convocation
  • USFDA says Cytotron, an anti-cancer kit developed by Bengaluru based Rajah Vijay Kumar, is a "breakthrough device" for treating liver, pancreatic and breast cancers
  • Car sales show a minuscule uptrend after declining continuously for 11 months
  • Industrial output contracts by 4.3% in September, the worst decline in 8 years
  • Centre defends abrogation of Article 370 in the Supreme Court, says the power under it was used by the President six times previously
  • Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar admitted to hospital with lung infection, put on ventilator
  • Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant quits as Union Minister
  • National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met the leaders of both Hindus and Muslims in Delhi on Sunday to ensure peace and harmony is maintained after the Ayodhya verdict
  • Tipu Jayanti passes off peacefully in Karnataka
  • 10 dead as Cyclone Bulbul leaves destruction in its wake in West Bengal
  • Shefali Verma breaks Sachin's 30-year old record by scoring an international fifty at 15 years and 285 days
  • Former Chief Election Commissioner T N Seshan dies at 87
  • India beat Bangladesh by 30 runs to win the 3rd T20 and clinch the series 2-1. Deepak Chahar becomes the first Indian to take a hat-trick in T20s and returns the best bowling figures of 6/7
  • Centre removes SPG cover of the Gandhis. However, they will still get Z-category security
  • CJI Ranjan Gogoi will have a meeting with UP chief secretary and DGP of the state in his chamber ahead of the verdict on the Ayodhya land dispute next week
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oppn parties
Telcos Start Backhand Campaign to Garner Support for Zero Plans

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Have you been receiving a sms in Hindi asking you to support “free internet” in the last few days? Please do not give a missed call on the given number in support.

This is nothing but a backhand attempt on the part of telecommunication companies to garner ‘support’ for their zero plans that seek to restrict use of internet in the garb of providing you with free service.

You will not be required to pay monthly charges, but your internet experience will undergo a sea change as you will not be able to access websites on demand, or even if you are able to, pages of those sites will open at an excruciatingly slow speed to test your patience.

The zero plan benefits no one except the telcos and those sites that sign up to pay them fancy amounts to let consumers access them at high speeds.

The telcos say that this will not happen. But can we take their word for it? For, those websites who pay them will ensure that this is exactly what happens. No one will pay them if a competitor’s website has equal access. Zero plans are nothing but censorship in disguise.

The telcos and their supporters say that the consumers should have a choice to access the internet free. Yes, but then they must also be informed that what they are getting into. They should be told that if they get into the zero plan, they will get access to Facebook, but Twitter will have limited and slow access, or vice versa or whatever the telco has lined up. They will need to be told that maybe their bank’s app will not open on their mobile as it will not be a party to the telco’s zero plans. Let us see how many consumers opt for the said plan then.

The telcos cannot say that the zero plans will not be abused. For, in the recent Supreme Court decision on Sec 66A, the Court had quoted from an old English judgment to say that “if such powers are capable of being exercised reasonably it is impossible to say that they may not also be exercised unreasonably.” That is the catch. For some time, the telcos might exercise the power of plan zero reasonably. But greed and the lure of more profits will make them exercise it unreasonably sooner than expected. They cannot be allowed to do so.

Further, those opposed to the zero plans had been doing so upfront â€" by either drafting a petition for support on Change.org or sending signed emails to TRAI. This backhand attempt to garner support by the telcos just goes to show that they have a lot to hide and are hence asking for ‘missed’ calls in support.