TRAI extends deadline for comments on net neutrality to January 7

GN Bureau | December 30, 2015



Responding to the requests from the stakeholders, the Telecom Operator Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has extended the deadline to submit comments on its consultation papers on differential pricing for data services to January 7, said an official release.

 Released on December 9, the regulator initially sought comments on the paper by December 30 and counter-comments on January 7. Now the counter-comments will be taken on January 14.
 
READ: Facebook's Free Basics is deeply flawed: Joint statement by IIT and IIS faculty members

The consultation paper by the regulator essentially talked about zero-rating that has created ripples across the country. Zero-rating is a plan backed by telecom operators of India which supports free accessibility of limited content for the users on the internet.  
 
Airtel, a leading telecom and internet service provider, launched Airtel Zero in April 2015, which fired the debate on zero-rating in India. On the other hand, Facebook’s relaunched its internet.orgc ampaign in India with much rigour under the banner of Free Basics. Through Free Basics, Facebook intends to provide free access to basic information, for instance health, education, job listings etc. on the free internet to help connect the unconnected population to the internet world. 
 
The content will be selected and provided by Facebook through its medium with the support of Reliance communications network, its sole telecom partner in the country.  
 
For the past four days, the social network giant has been using print media and other platforms vociferously to pitch in for its campaign and gain public support.  It claims to have received more than three million petitions from Indians in support of its Free Basics.
 
Meanwhile, the opposition for zero-rating grew manifolds with the participation of International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, and Jawaharlal Nehru technological University, along with internet civil society groups.
 
The collective view from the opposing groups says that with concepts like Free Basics and Airtel Zero will create monopoly on the internet, and restrict financially small and budding content providers from reaching to the users, as content that will not be a part of the telecom operator’s free services will be charged extra, hence, creating an environment of differential pricing.

Some 40 members from IIT Delhi and IIT Khargapur and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, joined net neutrality debate by signing petition against Facebook's Free Basics on Wednesday. The petition that will be forwarded to TRAI says, “Facebook’s ‘free basics’ (sic) proposal is such a lethal combination, having several deep flaws, beneath the veil6 of altruism wrapped around it in TV and other media advertisements."

Comments

 

Other News

The other Modi who won in Gujarat

Another Modi emerged triumphant in Gujarat on Monday. No, we are not talking about prime minister Narendra Modi who is credited with scripting the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh victories, but it is about the other Modi who contested from Surat West seat.   BJP candidate Purnesh Mo

Majoritarianism rules!

Just the facts first. In the Gujarat assembly elections, the BJP did not field a single Muslim candidate. No one expected it to; and its leaders make no bones about ignoring the nine percent Muslims of the state. The Congress, playing realpolitik in a state where the sentiment is well-known, chose tokenism

Modi credits good governance for Gujarat, HP victories

Prime minister Narendra Modi has thanked voters of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and credit good governance for his party’s victories in the state assemblies. “I bow to the people of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh for their affection and trust in BJP. I assure them that we will leav

Himachal poll and its film connect

Former minister Anil Sharma, whose son Ayush Sharma is married to Arpita, sister of film star Salman Khan, has won from Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi assembly constituency. Anil Sharma, son of former union telecom minister Sukh Ram, had left the Congress and joined the BJP ahead of the asse

AAP clean bowled in Gujarat

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was out on duck in Gujarat where none of its 20 candidates failed to win in the assembly elections. The poor showing of the party at the hustings comes on the heels of the reversals it faced in Punjab and Goa. The situation for the AAP was so bad in G

Twitter erupts in laughter with #GujaratVerdict

Going by the leads, the BJP is set to establish its stronghold in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Confident of his party’s victory, prime minister Narendra Modi even flashed a victory sign while walking into the parliament today morning.  After a neck and neck contest in the early morning,



Video

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter