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Net Neutrality: A Free and Open Internet

Posted by Shreyans Jain Tuesday, 28 April 2015 3 comments
Nothing unites us more effectively than a shared sense of helplessness. Unsurprisingly, netizens have witnessed a secular epiphany in the charade being run on various social media platforms to fight for net neutrality. Will the development of a regulatory framework for over-the-top (OTT) services jeopardise net neutrality and upset the level playing field in terms of regulatory compliance? Let us explore.


Presently, telecom service providers (TSPs) offering fixed and mobile telephony are being overwhelmed with traffic generated by OTT applications and services which are accessible over the Internet and piggyback on operators’ network infrastructure. Some examples of OTT services are: WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, Instagram, Facebook messenger, Google talk, et al. Except for the revenues accrued from increased data usage of users accessing OTT services via Internet, the TSPs do not realise any revenue for bandwidth and carriage of these services. The OTT applications, generating humongous online traffic, have created an increasing demand for faster Broadband speeds and, therefore, an incumbent need for huge investments in network up-gradation by the TSPs. This has induced the latter to resort to discriminatory traffic management practices like the use of data packet inspection software, application-agnostic congestion management, prioritisation, differentiated throttling and blocking, thus, interfering with the Internet users’ freedom to access content and violating the principle of net neutrality.

Net neutrality may be construed as a TSP’s obligation to treat all Internet traffic equally, irrespective of the type or origin of content or the means used for the transmission of data packets. All points in a network should be able to connect to all other points in the network with seamless delivery of traffic, without any differentiation on speed, access or price. The debate on net neutrality is comprised of issues like traffic management, investment and capacity enhancement, improved quality of service to users, unrestricted access and non-discriminatory access to the Internet.


By definition, a strict adherence to net neutrality would forbid the compelling need for traffic management and would adversely affect the network performance and quality of service. Traffic management is essential to protect the consumer experience, especially in times of extreme network congestion. The greater concern, however, is the use of traffic management, which in any sense is non-neutral, by an operator to the detriment of competitors that rely on its network. TSPs tend to make arbitrary use of network discrimination to block competing applications and services, like VoIP services, in order to eliminate competition and maximise profits. They are able to compromise appropriate functioning of these services by slowing them down and resort to preferential treatment of services and platforms. This has compounded the fear of “Internet fragmentation” viz. TSPs might slow down the “normal lane” traffic so that content providers will be forced to pay for “fast lane” access. In other words, TSPs might possibly degrade/restrict capacity in traditional Internet access to force OTT applications and content providers to use the TSPs’ “premium” service for network access. Inability to secure access to TSPs’ network or afford access-tiering charges might hinder the entry of new and emerging start-ups into the market and endanger innovation and diversity in the long run. 

In such a scenario, a uniform revenue-sharing model between the TSPs and the content and application providers should be looked at as a probable solution instead of following a tiering pricing structure to charge data hungry users. There is a need for a telecom regulatory regime to effectively target discriminatory conduct and drive competition in the market by creating a level playing field for all stakeholders.


The network provided by TSPs is used as a platform by the OTT players for the growth and development of their businesses. Insofar the current business models are concerned, it is difficult to create a conducive and balanced environment to induce TSPs to invest in network infrastructure owing to the huge costs incurred by them in acquiring spectrum, category license to operate etc. The Government is already committed to bringing its dream of “Digital India” to fruition byconnecting all 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats spread over 6,590 Blocks and 637 Districts with optical fibre cable to enhance Broadband penetration as part of the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) project. Any attempt to further the interests of one stakeholder over the other will not be a move in the right direction. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India issued a consultation paper on “Regulatory Framework for Over-the top (OTT) Services” on March 27, 2015 which triggered the debate for upholding net neutrality in India. For further deliberations, the comments and counter comments of all stakeholders are awaited till April 24, 2015 and May 08, 2015 respectively. It would, therefore, not be prudent to ascribe the regulator to a particular line of thought or arouse any unfounded suspicion among Internet users by circulating parody videos and posts with inciting hashtags on social media platforms.

Happy New Year 2015!!!

Posted by Shreyans Jain Thursday, 1 January 2015 1 comments



As 2014 fades into another new year, it is time for us to introspect on the milestones we could achieve, the promises we could keep and the hurdles that we could step-over successfully throughout the year. At the stroke of the midnight hour, as this year turns, we are presented with yet another opportunity to come to terms with life. Once again life beckons us to take a synoptic view of where we, as a society, are heading to, an account of all those contributions that we as citizens of India made to our motherland.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover. 
                                                                                                    ~Mark Twain


Indeed! To experience the thrill and exhilaration of success in life, a definitive goal is essential to which must be added enthusiasm and a penchant for hard work, an inherent desire to seek out problems and convert them to challenges. It is a shameful thing for the soul to faint while the body still preserves.

When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. 
                                                                                                      ~Helen Keller

At this juncture, when life is on the threshold of unfolding yet another plethora of surprises, both bitter and sweet, let us warmly welcome the approaching New Year 2015 with great zeal and optimism. It is imperative for us to make new resolutions and celebrate the beginning of a new chapter in our life, boisterously.


Here, I offer some thoughts and suggestions that may be pondered upon while initiating a voyage in the year 2015.

      1.       Make a New Year resolution :
Failure is virtually assured at the very offset because the resolutions are not made with serious intent and deliberation. It is crucial to harness New Year's temporary motivation into something that will carry you through an extended period of required effort. Often circumstances beyond our control crop up at the most unexpected and inconvenient times, leaving us baffled. So always acknowledge your partial success in you endeavour. 

2.
       Don’t reuse gifts as gifts :
Mirthful, as it may sound to be, but we as humans have an inherent tendency of reusing gifts as gifts irrespective of the sentiments attached to them. This has indeed led to commercialisation of relationships, the depth of which is often estimated in monetary terms. Every gift, however big or small it may be, has some emotions and sentiments attached to them, that ought to be valued and cherished by the recipient. Prudence demands that the true spirit of New Year be upheld by sharing gifts and not disregarding them or reusing them as present for others.

      3.       Organise a New Year bash :
Perhaps, New Year celebrations are incomplete without a boisterous party. Party hard and enjoy the company of your friends and foes alike this year ahead.
CAUTION : Don’t get drunk with ecstasy to the extent that you indulge in anti-social activities or hooliganism on roads. Don’t drink and drive, particularly on the eve of New Year. Carry yourself in a dignified manner and respect the morals and virtues of the society.

      4.       Enjoy delicacies at home :
There is no such fragrance that can compete with the aroma of a delicious home-cooked supper. Shun all inhibitions and satiate your appetite! Cook your favourite food at home or order it from outside, but enjoy your New Year eve to the fullest. (You have the next 365 days to control your weight :D)
      5.       Set a yardstick for yourself :
New Year’s eve is truly an occasion for celebration. But it is also the time to peep into your future. Instead of wandering aimlessly throughout the following year seeking solace in you meager achievements, set a yardstick for yourself. He who does not prepare for storms when no storms are indicated lacks in plain preparatory wisdom required by any rational person.



I would like to conclude with the following lines :

Strive not to be a success, but to be of value.
                                                    ~Albert Einstein

What's your reason for falling in love with Melbourne, the most livable city in the world?

Posted by Shreyans Jain Thursday, 18 December 2014 7 comments

MELBOURNE: If there is a paradise on Earth, it is this…it is this…it is this! 

Adventure adds spice to life. The essence of life cannot be relished, unless an individual gamble his or her comfort with some quivers and shivers. Only a paramount person who possesses great valour, dexterity and killer instinct to struggle with the trials and tyrannies of life can experience and explore the myriad intricacies of life, decipher the message embedded in one’s existence on Earth and drown himself/herself into delirium of ecstasy.
  

A pristine and lively, cosmopolitan city like Melbourne would present one with a legion of opportunities to indulge in its culture. Australia, and the state of Victoria, is well-known for its tranquil nature, diverse flora and fauna, beautiful beaches, insane adventure sport activities,a la mode couture and exquisite food and wine. I wish to visit this virtual paradise on Earth and return with the memories of an extremely pleasant experience from Melbourne.

How wild my imagination can be! I feel delighted at the very thought of relaxing on the sunny beaches across Melbourne from the popular swimming spots at St Kilda to the bathing huts at Brighton. I wish I could go for a stroll to the city's parks like the Treasury Gardens, accord my respects to the Scarred Tree, and indulge in fun and frolic at Flagstaff Gardens. There is nothing more rejuvenating than a walk amid thick foliage - something that I dread of every morning. Melbourne Heritage Walk and a walk along the Yarra River path are also in my wish list, mere glimpse of which lightens up my spirits. And how can I forget the heart gladdening hot air ballooning? A heavenly city like Melbourne ought to be enjoyed from a hot air balloon to get a bird's eye view. Finally, for a person like me who loves to play cricket, Australia is the ultimate destination. 

Following are some of the facts about Melbourne that corroborate my desire to visit this wonderful city, trying to convince me, saying “…it's your time to visit Melbourne NOW!"

  • The Federation Square that is the cultural centre and houses the Melbourne Visitor Centre, Australian Centre for the Moving Image and National Gallery of Victoria's Ian Potter Centre. And the starting point for many trips and cruises....
  • The University of Melbourne, the second oldest in the nation, and all built in sandstone in a good mesh of gothic revival and modern styles; a public University with the largest endowment in the country! The Medical History Museum here would be of great interest ...with class photos of the earliest women medical students in 1887!
  • The Queen Victoria Market, spread over 7 hectares, and having the largest collection of open air markets. Being earlier a meat market, an old 1868 mural here depicts a few lambs and cows ; though I have never figured out why you erect a statue before killing the animals....
     
  • The Yarra River at the Yarra Bend park. Melbourne being situated at the lower end of the river, as it flows down towards Hobsons Bay... Lovely parklands on its banks, giving you a country feel right in the middle of Melbourne, as you decide to indulge in cruise on the MV Melburnian in the Yarra .
     
  • The imposing Victorian State Parliament building, which was supposed to have a huge 20 story dome, but they cancelled the idea, and now it is domeless, and the Exhibition Buildings, the last remnants of the major 19th century exhibition buildings in the world.
     
  • I would love to do the Golden Mile heritage walk that would take me through the Royal Arcade and the Block Arcade, not to mention Melbourne's little shopping lanes...and would enjoy the year round fruits from the shops at the Queens Parade in Clifton Hill, along with the cafes.
     
  • And how can we forget Cooks Cottage, the house owned by the parents of Captain Cook in England, sold to an Australian, and shipped piece by brick piece, along with the ivy plants , and reconstructed in Australia. The Cooks decreed that the house must stay in England, and some smart person got that amended to "Empire", and so it came Down Under.
     
  • The Royal Botanic Gardens, The Luna Park, The Maritime Museum at South Wharf, and the Literature Lane  in the City, decorated with cover pages of some amazing Australian literary works.
     
  • Balloon trips high above Melbourne, taking in the CBD, the Yarra and the woodlands, floating above the Melbourne Cricket Ground, imagining visiting its Sports Museum, creating stories to bring home to 2 cricket crazy family members.
  • Melbourne (in fact, the whole of Australia) is a heaven for food lovers - world cuisines, thick shakes, cocktails, cupcakes, crepes and donuts.
 …It's your time to visit Melbourne NOW! Because, more than the Bricks and Mortar, the delicacies and the rides, it's the people who make a country and a city.  

Here is a question for all the readers (to be answered in not more than 100 words):


What's your reason for falling in love with Melbourne, the most livable city in the world?

Which of these places would you want to visit in Melbourne and why? 



Do visit this Website for more details :
http://www.visitmelbourne.com/in


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My blog is an innovative amalgamation of my thoughts, how i perceive and react to different events in the ordinary business of life and at the same time entertain the readers and sensitize them.