TRAI extends deadline for comments on net neutrality to Jan 7

December 30, 2015 03:09 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:03 pm IST - New Delhi

Facebook has an ongoing tie-up with Reliance Communications in India to provide free internet services through the renamed Free Basics.

Facebook has an ongoing tie-up with Reliance Communications in India to provide free internet services through the renamed Free Basics.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Wednesday extended the last date for submission of comments on its paper on differential data pricing to January 7 from December 30. Similarly, the last date for counter-comments has been pushed to January 14.

In a statement, the regulator said the last date for receipt of written comments had been extended on requests of stakeholders and no further extensions would be allowed.

The consultation paper raises concern over zero-rating tariff models — a practice wherein service providers offer free data to users for select applications and websites — and the paper has become key to the debate on Net neutrality. According to Internet activists, this model violates the principle of Net neutrality as it restricts access to free, open Internet. Facebook’s Free Basic initiative has come under severe criticism in India as it is based on a zero-rating model. TRAI has also asked Reliance Communication, Facebook’s partner in India for Free Basics, to put the service on hold till the authority considers all the details and terms and conditions of the service.

Meanwhile, in its response to TRAI on the paper, Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) on Wednesday said differential pricing violates not only principles of Net neutrality but also TRAI’s own stated principles of pricing that tariffs should be non-discriminatory, transparent, non-anti-competitive, non-predatory, non-ambiguous and non-misleading.

On Tuesday, founders and CEOs of nine start-ups, including Paytm, Zomato and GoQii, wrote to TRAI Chairman R.S. Sharma pitching for an open Internet while seeking “clear regulations” on the issue of differential pricing for data services.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.