Content Marketing : A Consummate Medium Of Success

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- Aman Sohi, Manager Content, Trivone Digital

Content is the reason search began in the first place ~ Lee Odden 

Content plays an important part, when we talk about methods of communicating. In earlier times, reading was the best way of understanding. With advancement in technology, content never loses its glory. Today, more or less all brands develop their websites based on content and infographics. As a client or an onlooker, it is very important for us to understand about a company and reading content can be the best way. In other ways, content is considered as a backbone of any online branding company.

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This is one part of the story, after drafting good content, it is supposed to reach the desired audience. Content marketing does the trick and fast-growing marketing agencies leave no stone unturned in order to make sure that content is placed right before the client. Whether it is B2B or B2C target segment, good and relevant content sell like hot cakes. In this new age of semantic and social search, content marketing has emerged as, more than just, a buzzword or a fad to one of the most important and critical element in digital marketing. No doubt it has grown to become one of the most powerful tools available for doing business and connecting with targeted customers through the internet. According to facts, more than 73% of businesses rely on branded content for marketing and promotion. Social media, articles, newsletters and blogs remain at the top content marketing tactics used by many businesses. 

Some of the benefits of content marketing includes 

·    It generates more inbound traffic to the client's website- Custom content is favored by up to 68 % of consumers for the basic reason that it caters to their interest of particular need for information. 
·    It increases engagement with the targeted audiences.
·    It generates more leads. Based on an effective content marketing campaign, companies having relevant blogs and websites can generate 97% more leads than other companies. 
·    It increases sales.
·    Builds brand awareness. 
·    Establishes the client as a thought leader. 
·    Is cheaper than traditional forms of marketing. 

How to reach the C-Suite with content?

Content marketers spend a lot of time and money creating just the right content to engage their customers and prospects, but much of it goes unheeded by the most coveted audiences — the C-suite. Executives are a challenging audience and because of their buying power, it is worth cracking the code on executive content. The C level executives only believe their peers for information and know what they need. They do not waste time with 'salesy' pitches and lightweight stories. In order to generate successful content for executives, the following points need to be followed:

·    Ensure your facts are credible as credibility is key to success
·    Provide actionable and timely information on issues that matter
·    Summarize
·    Channel matters 
·    Push beyond the common wisdom and top of mind trends

To conclude, we can surely state that popularity and reach of any content will depend on the content marketing strategy. 

Social Media For C-Suite

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- Mansi Priya, Marketing, Trivone Digital

In the digital transformation taking place everyday around us, the business practices, strategy, campaigns etc, all have changed. This change has increased the engagement, on social media, of not only the mid-level executives but also the C-suite. Many of the C-level executives have become tech savvy and are now sending out tweets and making videos. So in case you still think that social media is not your cup of tea, then you must take a sip of this tea and make a more reasonable choice.

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Majority C-level executives sense that social media is pivotal for business communication. A recent survey, 2014 Global Social CEO, lightens up the fact that when C-Suite executives are active on social media, the trust on the brand and purchase intent increases. When company CEOs and leadership team engages on social media, people are more likely to build trust on the company. It raises the brand awareness and helps establish industry leadership.

Social Media has the fledgling capability to enhance competitive advantage, increase revenue, decrease cost and drive overall profitability. If social media is being ignored, the target market will also be ignored. This ignorance will eventually make one ignore the opportunities to take the business forward or protect it from going backward. Leaders can set a specific tone for their brand to a large audience through social media. They can also hear from unconcealed and honest opinions about their brand.

The teams that do not submerge into social media are often crippled when they face certain challenges. Such teams would be skeptical in talking with their audience through this medium and often miss out the opportunity for shaping their brand and spreading their message. 

Social inexperience can be an issue for C-level executives to be skeptical for using this platform. Like most other executives, C-level executives do not require too much of technical understanding about this platform. According to a survey, 64% of CEOs do not use social media at all, with only 5% of all Fortune 500 company CEOs on Twitter. 

There is a high risk for company leaders to be on social media. Since conversations about the company, brand, and offerings would be there all the time, a lot of legal precautions and language precautions should be taken care of. Risk of not engaging leadership team into social can even be worse. If they are not directly connected with the audience, they can miss out a lot of good opportunities for their company and brand.

The best ways to engage the C-suite on social media is through these simple steps. Posting from personal account or a corporate account, CFOs, CEOs, CMOs, should be encouraged to participate in social media activities and communicate with target audience. The C-suite should be enlightened with the drawbacks of not communicating and benefits of social media listening. Identify the balance of website traffic sources will enable in understanding the source of traffic and hence diversifying it. 

Social Media has become a C-suite issue today. The executives who explore social well and are comfortable with it can shape their brand future well. 

Video Marketing : The Essential Element Of Content

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- Mansi Priya, Marketing, Trivone Digital

Standing out of the crowd and create a marketing campaign out of the box has always been a challenge for a marketer. In digital campaigns content should appeal visually and be retained by customers. So the digital marketer has to brainstorm, on creating methods to leave a strong impact on the readers. In the era of digital transformation and data available in your palm, an essential element to impress the reader is video.

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Today when people are too busy in their life, with lowering patience levels, digital marketers need to grab the attention of the target audience. Video Marketing is an extension of text content marketing, but it serves as an alternative medium for businesses to convey their message. Through videos marketers can reach a wider audience and get more exposure to their message. Watching video is less time consuming and creativity of audio-visual clipping leave a good impact on the audience.

Videos are a big hit on social media. They give customers quick overview of product/service without involving them to read detailed text information. The involvement time of the customer is reduced and makes it interesting for them. 

To tap the upcoming audience, which is comprised mostly of millennials, marketers should understand what impacts them best. David Shing, Digital Prophet at AOL, says that Gen Y consumers are “freaky for videos”. They like to spend their time on content. To make the content consumption interesting for them, use of videos is important.

As marketers put more emphasis on storytelling, to make an emotional connect with the customers, showing a video is like a cherry on cake. This enables to build strong connectivity with the customers. Videos enable strong storytelling in short yet memorable way, which viewers can enjoy and marketers can analyse.

We can imagine the future of videos. After tremendous success of You Tube in so many years, people started sharing videos on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This practice became so common that Facebook opened doors to video creators. Earlier this year, Facebook announced that, its video uploads would be having embedding on other sites. Now Facebook is attracting major video creators to the social network and making it more dynamic for its readers.

Thanks to the technology tools, it has become easier than ever for anyone to create a video at minimal cost. It has become easy to capture the attention of readers by videos yet it is critically important to have an effective strategy. The consumption of videos has increased excessively on mobile. The technical plugins and resolution should be taken care of, to make the consumption easy for audience.

The Digital Marketer should not skip this essential element in digital campaigns to create strong impression on readers.

How To Fight Challenges Of Big Data

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- Mansi Priya, Marketing, Trivone Digital

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it ~ Molière

Whenever we fight a challenge with a good strategy, the outcomes are fabulous. Everything in this world has pros and cons, so we should cut down the problems and extract the benefits. In my last article we discussed about what Big Data is, its benefits and the various challenges it brings along. Today we shall discuss how to fight those challenges to make this essential tool, a priceless asset and not a liability.

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The major challenges of Big Data are, Data Volume, Talent Gap, Performance, Technical complexity, Security and Cost. These are some of the major challenges faced by users and organisations of almost every industry/ sector. If we are able to solve these 6 issues, majority of the Big Data problems will diminish.

Data Volume Solution: The data is growing at an exponential rate and it is important to extract relevant data. It is necessary to identify source of your data as well as devise strategy to maintain and control it. There are many companies that master in Data Management. The trick is, discover potential for creating/ optimising data volume strategy, provide monitoring and reporting capabilities for technical KPI’s and compliance check for corporate Data Volume Strategy.

Talent Gap Solution: Content discovery & management is a primate for Big Data management. To discover and manage the relevant content, highly skilled team should be appointed. A team who is able to understand the audience being delivered as well as the technical complexities involved in data extraction. Since technological changes happen very fast, frequent training to the team should also be given for better performance.

Performance Solution: In the digital world, where delay of nanoseconds can lead to loss of sale, high operating speeds are required. The organisation should be able to cope up with the changes in IT landscape for fast reach. Latest and modern hardware as well as software should be used after monitoring the required speed. 

Technology Complexity Solution: On the internet, information is scattered on a large scale in different formats. There should be a centralised content repository and easy UI to ease the technical complexities of the data. The team appointed for data extraction should be equipped with essential technical skills as well.

Security Solution: Security issue is a major obstacle for many companies, which prevents them from utilising the data completely. Usage of hardware and software should be reviewed thoroughly and necessary updates and extensions should be installed. Enterprises can also design personal clouds services, with hybrid services in mind to make sure future integration is possible.

Cost Solution: With new improved technology comes in a cost. The cost should be managed properly based on team appointed, profit generated and eventually cost saving from old technologies used. Smart management of operations for data extraction should be done to have the minimum cost involved. One way is the ability to compress data at the most granular level, which will not only reduce storage requirements, but also simplify the infrastructure. It depends on various companies, their projects and demands to minimize this expense. The true cost, benefit gained and utility should be evaluated thoroughly to take wise steps.

If the above given solutions are practiced, they can help organisations in a good manner to mange their issues with Big Data. Big Data has lots of benefits and encashing these benefits require a good strategy. If a company is able to utilise this information properly, it can reach great heights

Digital Transformation : Big Data & Its Challenges

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- Mansi Priya, Marketing, Trivone Digital

It said that there are no free lunches in the world. With all processes, trends, changes there are pros as well as cons. With every new change and trend there are new challenges that comes along. Today we shall talk about a new concept coming up with the transforming era and its challenges.

We talked about how the world and economies are going digital. With this digital transformation, comes in a new concept called the Big Data. Big Data is a popular term today, which is used to define the exponential growth and availability of data. Wikipedia describes Big Data as a broad term for data sets, that are so large and complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. 

If we simplify Big Data to understand better, then it is a simple cycle. A lot of data, content or information is stored and optimised by various search engines. Out of this storage, content is discovered and managed. After managing and discovering the data, useful and intelligent data is identified. By delivering the intelligent data, user experience is measured using various means such as Analytics. The best user experienced data is then again stored and optimised by search engines. 

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After all the entire cycle is made to engage the user. In the cycle, there are certain challenges that are faced by the users. Some of the challenges are lack of collaboration, multiple media formats, long cycle time, technology ownerships, workload diversity, data security and many other factors. If we consider some of the major challenges then it will be a little simpler to understand and overcome.

Challenge 1 : Data Volume
Companies face alot of difficulty in extracting the right data and understanding its usability. To engage with one’s customers, companies have to think out of the box and look for models that are different from traditional ones. 

Challenge 2 : Talent Gap
Content discovery & management is an essential part for Big Data. Companies today struggle alot to find the right talent, which is capable enough to understand new technologies and interpret a meaningful business insight from it.

Challenge 3 : Performance
In the digital world, where delay of nanoseconds can hamper your business process, big data must be moving at great speed. It is a challenge to react to the flood of information in time required by an application.

Challenge 4 : Technology complexity
On the internet information is scattered on a large scale in different technical formats. Leveraging the data means to work with a strong and innovative technology as well as adapting to changes in IT landscape efficiently.

Challenge 5 : Security
Concern for security is a major obstacle for companies, and prevents them from utilising the data completely. Most Big Data platforms have few security mechanisms to safeguard the data. So it becomes a challenge for both end user as well as the company delivering the data.

Challenge 6 : Cost
Big Data has opened up excellent opportunities for business improvement, to experiment with new methods and discover new technologies, that provide good insight for ones industry. With all this comes a cost, but doing it all the right way with effective cost structure is also a challenge.

According to Gartner Research, Big Data can have major impact on current business in three ways. Big Data can discover hidden insights, improve decisions by enriching information for decision makers and automate business processes. With more data within reach, companies can determine an additional insight. This insight can improve their business processes and enable them to get value from available information.

The new transformation has brought alot of good stuff with it so it has brought complexities. To stay in the competitive market one should adopt this change but with relevant changes as per the industry. To fight these challenges is important, stay close to our section to learn how to fight them.

Social Media Marketing : A Ticket To Success

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- Aman Sohi, Manager Content, Trivone Digital

“Social media is the ultimate equalizer. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage”, Amy Jo Martin 

Whenever we show interest in connecting with our friends, family or business associates, platforms like facebook, twitter and Linkedin comes to our mind. Over the years, science and technology has grown at a rapid speed, giving way to spellbound inventions. We have always been bamboozled with the presence and use of such inventions. Internet has by far proved itself to be one of the most profitable medium, enabling its users to multitask. Now we can easily socialize with our peers and groups with the help of internet. Social media portals such as facbook, twitter and linkedin enables us to pontificate our thoughts on any trending issue or a general debate. 

If we talk about businesses and brands, advertising has always been an urgent need to gain profit and popularity. Other than some obsolete methods of advertising, businesses use social media platforms in full swing in order to reach their investors and audience. Being active on such platforms gives plethora of options for the brand to explore. 

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There are few factors, which influence business leaders to use social media. It includes:
- Education, especially with regards to social media and the online world.
- Relationships, both with customers and people.
- Motivation 
- Leadership 
- Technology 

Today, presence on social media portals has become essential for every small, medium or large businesses. It’s like blowing your own trumpet, but in a logically appropriate way. Stronger the presence, higher becomes the chances of reaching maximum target audience. If your update has been shared, that’s even better, you seal the chance of engaging a larger group of audience. One of the advantages of making use of the social media marketing is that it bridges the lacuna, which is sometimes created between customers and brands. 

Blending of infographics with good amount of content also increases the chances for brands to reach a wider audience. But the bottom line remains, it is only possible with the use of social media marketing.

Digital Transformation A New Era

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- Mansi Priya, Marketing, Trivone Digital

In the race of technology worldwide, economies are growing at a fast rate. To stay in the competition, one important thing to keep in mind is Digital Transformation. The world is getting increasingly digital everyday in all the aspects of society. It affects both individual businesses and segments of society such as government, medicine, communication etc. But do we know exactly what is this transformation all about? 

According to a market research report by MarketsandMarkets, the global digital transformation market is expected to grow from $150.7 billion to $369.2 billion, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.6%. Big giants such as Microsoft, Google, IBM, Apple, Oracle etc. have become the major vendors for the Digital Transformation market. It has become the primary objective of every organisation to know that how is the digital transformation happening in their industry and its effects on their business. 

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Companies vary in their digital maturity, and the ones who are more mature outperform the ones who are not. The leading digital changes require the leadership teams to have a vision of transforming their company to the digital world.

"What we find with digital transformation work is that it’s not really a technology problem, it’s a leadership problem" – George Westerman, Research Scientist, MIT’s initiative on Digital Economy

The initial step for any organisation is to evaluate key characteristics of their business that should go digital instead of manual. An example of such a scenario could be outdated technology. Revamp it, make your current workforce undergo innovation workshops to enable them brainstorm and collaborate with leaders to identify opportunities for digital transformation.

Redesigning a website every few years will not help to compete in digital economy. Organisations need to make more fundamental changes. Digital has raised customer expectations, the speeds of work has increased, patience levels of people have dropped and the list is endless. So it has become essential for organisations to incorporate the necessary changes. 

Tomorrow’s people will have immediate access to much more information as compared with today. Digital enterprises should be able to deliver their services to customers, using their preferred mode of access. The organisations should leverage social, mobile, analytics and cloud as their enabling technologies. Making use of these upcoming new tools to enhance the business process, organisations transform their business models. 

By transforming the business practises to digital organisations can work and perform better. They save alot of cost, time and gain customer satisfaction more than before. Digital transformation has validated to impact the bottom line and stimulates productivity. Businesses that incorporate digital transformation, according to Gartner, will be able to find opportunities and work in seconds. Some of great successes in digital transformation are Nespresso, Marriott, T-Mobile USA. Organisations who invest in new technologies, people and processes, gain great outcomes which include greater profits and market share as well as talent and better brand loyalty by their customers. 

A recently conducted survey by Altimeter group, a specialist research company based in California, stated increased customer engagement, improved customer satisfaction, higher digital traffic, increased lead generation and greater conversion as the top benefits of digital transformation of a business.

So if you are still thinking about whether to make your business process digital, gear up and embrace yourself, because the world is at a very fast pace. Increase your pace to stay in the competition.

Social Media Marketing For B2B Companies

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- Mansi Priya, Marketing, Trivone Digital

In the increasing era of social media the world is getting small. Companies are able to interact with their consumers worldwide through the platform of social media. Brands establish a strong relation and maintain brand loyalty through these platforms. Then why should B2B companies avoid social media?

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There are myths that close the doors for social media for B2B marketing. Many B2B marketers feel that social media is not the right platform for their company or their target audience don't use social media. Some feel that social media is only for young people. These are some of the myths that keep marketers of B2B companies away from social media. 

In today’s era of rapid changes in digital marketing and presence across social media, B2B marketers can’t go very far with traditional methods of digital marketing. Social media is one channel, which can prove to be loyalty builder for B2B businesses. Social media enables B2B companies to feature their credibility and frame a reputation in competitive markets.

By using social media platforms B2B marketers increase the exposure of their company, increase the traffic for their digital marketing campaigns, develop loyal fan following, generate new leads and improve sales. Social media can reduce the existing marketing expenses and provide a better insight to the marketplace. 

Some of the B2B businesses such as Dell, Ford, Microsoft Advertising and GE have done great work using social media platforms for their digital marketing campaigns. It is not necessary for B2B companies to be boring and stick to traditional digital strategies. Big companies have churned out great results with social media marketing. 

Social media marketing gives the marketer an insight about what their consumers are expecting. They can understand how the dynamics are changing, what are the upcoming trends affecting their consumers, how can they establish better relations with their consumers and many more such fields which cannot be accomplished using other digital marketing tools. Social media is an excellent platform to spread a good word of mouth. Good word of mouth helps B2B marketers to generate leads and encourage promoters. 

Digital has changed marketing trends so social media has also affected the current marketing. Social media has changed customer experience and their expectations. So to keep up with the changing trends and keep your customers’ faith B2B marketers should not skip social media marketing in their digital marketing. 

Visual Content : A Pivotal Tool

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- Mansi Priya, Marketing, Trivone Digital

It is easy for people today to find information on internet. But do we know what makes it difficult for them to find out what is relevant? In the busy lives people are looking for information that is relevant and makes their work easy & quick. To make it simple, one crucial part that needs to be considered in a content strategy is Visual Content or Infographics.

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How important are these infographics? 
For marketers infographics is a way to convey their message in just a picture with creativity, which their readers can glance through and get a solution for their problem. It is an important tool in teaching, in business, in giving inspiration and in presenting information. As much as 97% of marketers are using social media for their businesses and out of these, 92% have acknowledged the importance of this tool.

It is not just one person who is trying to deliver his/her message, there are thousands of people who are trying new ways to do the same. So this makes designing an infographic a strenuous task. The challenge is to make your information delivery process attractive. Make your message visually appealing and convey the message with right pictures and graphics. One has to dig deep into the topic and think creatively to deliver the message in a very unique way and outshine the competitor.

It is very easy for the readers to go through images, less time consuming and interesting for them. The message delivered by an infographic is retained by the reader for a longer time. It provides readers the benefit of improved content and makes data processing easier. 

Use of infographics enables the reader to engage with the information being delivered. The creativity involved in an infographic makes the information more appealing to the reader. It shows the valuable ideas, grabs the attention of the reader and easier to understand. By reading pages and pages of words the readers might get bored and turn away, but infographic lessens the boredom and awakens their interest. It delivers information more quickly which is retained by the readers.

We can say that infographics simplify the communication, clarifies the message and makes the communication material compelling and attractive. If you are missing out this tool in your content strategy then think again. Whether an infographic is a huge hit or not, it is always a sound investment in content marketing. As technology continues to progress, more interactive infographics and visual content can come up. This brings an additional layer of engagement to content, which is “snackable” to the readers and retained by them for a longer time.

The Case Against Net Neutrality

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- L Subramanyan, CEO Trivone

"The markets, and not the government‎, should decide broadband speeds and quality"

At the beginning, let me make one point clear; I am against throttling of speeds by broadband operators. Agreed..Ok, so lets move on.
The recent rhetoric on Net Neutrality bothers me in one aspect. We have lived without the government’s intervention on the Internet for the last 20 years, so what is the issue all about? Why should the government worry about who gets to see what and consume what content on the Internet? Isn’t it enough that by these very interventionist measures, the government has already hurt (if not mortally) the entire telecom business? Do we need to kill the broadband access also?

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I am not getting into the debate on Net Neutrality here. Supporters of Net Neutrality, which include the ‘creators’ of the commercial Internet Vinton Cerf and Tim Berners Lee, have argued, very successfully, for an open Internet. So has President Obama, and I hear so has, our own minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Many of the pro-net neutrality arguments are actually anti-content throttling arguments. And I agree with those arguments.

However, what I do find difficult to agree with is the supposition that ‘someone’ ought to regulate what a broadband company ought to charge? I also find it difficult, consequently, to accept Sachin Bansal’s (and other such e commerce players) withdrawal from Airtel’s Zero rating. Let us look at a scenario. I, as a broadband network, have invested in significant sums to build the network. You, as an ecom player, want to leverage the same by providing free access to people who you want as eventual consumers. So you divert a part (a significant part, possibly) of your marketing spend and pay me, the network and pick up the tab for data charges, of the consumers who come to my portal and I, because you are my customer, provide you a faster access speed.

So what is the fuss?

It would be a crime if I throttled the speed for other consumers who may want to go to some other ecom portal. It would also be a crime if I stopped serving other ecom portals. It would further be a crime if I make you go away from my network if you didn’t go to my ecom portal. I am doing none of these. I am providing a preferential access to my customers. By no stretch of imagination is it curbing anybody’s ‘freedom of speech’. On no account are we throttling innovation (I still don’t understand where this argument even came in).
The pro guys argue that the big guys will muscle out the small guys. But, hey, aren’t they already doing it? That the smaller ecom companies will find it difficult to compete. However, the small ecom companies will become big ecom companies by investments and innovating a smarter way to do things. Broadband access is not the reason why ecom companies succeed or fail. It is execution of business models.

As an entrepreneur, it is my job to reach out to the largest number of customers and prospects in the most profitable way. If a network and an entrepreneur have a business agreement that does not violate the law, then why did flipkart do a volte-face and withdraw from Airtel Zero.

The truth is in perception. It is my educated guess that Flipkart did not want to be ‘seen’ as a company that ‘goes against the fundamental freedom of speech and choice’ and ditto for Amazon, Cleartrip and a host of other companies which wanted to battle perception rather than reality.

The other problem with the Net Neutrality principle is that if everybody has equal access and common speeds, then someone is going to have to pay for it. Which essentially means that either the government will stipulate the prices (which will be a Least Common Denominator) with little or no relevance to the investments made or everybody will suffer, like we are in the Mobile telephony business, where you have bits of hurried conversation between call drops!

On the other hand, if TRAI or somebody with some legal backing could simply stipulate the basic minimum standards for broadband speeds, below which the operator could be penalized, then faster speeds could attract premium pricing, which could then actually subsidize ‘free internet for all’.

My biggest fear is that thanks to the politicization of this Net Neutrality debate, there is going to be a significant drop in the creation of the broadband infrastructure, which is abysmal as it is. This will lead to a greater inequality and deepen the digital divide.
The Indian situation calls for some very drastic solutions. We have to significantly increase the broadband footprint across the country. This will call for massive investments by the existing (as well as new players). Sitting on a pedestal and asking for ‘free internet for all’ is not going to happen till then.

Currently, India has amongst the lowest median download speeds in the world, according to the Global Internet Report 2014 at less than 5MBPS, as compared to a median speed of over 20MBPS in Americas, Europe, China and Australia and over 30 MBPS in parts of Europe and Korea. That should be our biggest worry. If there is anything that can throttle content consumption, it is the lack of infrastructure and not zero ratings. An increased and faster access can empower those on the wrong side of digital divide much more dramatically. So comparing our ‘freedom to choose’ to that of the US or Europe has no meaning, at all. In reality, the Indian consumer even today has little freedom to choose, no recourse to lower-than-promised bandwidth, no recourse to deficient or non-existent service and so on and so forth.

Finally, in India, seldom have we had a reasonable debate on critical issues. Matters are normally settled by burning books (or buses), shrill rhetoric (mostly in the English TV press) which is generally a slanging match with a dangerous ‘nation wants to know’ kind of a question or hysterical sound bytes from a less-than-knowledgeable politician. While the Net Neutrality debate showed all signs of degenerating into one (or all) of the above, one hopes that a larger picture is seen by the powers-that-be. This debate is not, simply not, about freedom. In the larger, and Indian scheme of things, it has to be about access to the net.