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.
This is the second time the regulatory body has sought views and comments on for framing policies on internet services.
Earlier this year, TRAI released a draft consultation paper seeking views from the industry and the general public on the need for regulations for over-the-top (OTT) players such as Whatsapp, Skype, Viber etc, security concerns and net neutrality. The objective of this consultation paper, the regulator said, was to analyse the implications of the growth of OTTs and consider whether or not changes were required in the current regulatory framework.
This time, the consultation paper is about differential data pricing or zero rated applications and websites — especially as social media giant Facebook is agressively pushing its > Free Basics scheme.
Internet activists, on the other hand, have once again put together responses to TRAI's questions, making it easy for internet users to submit their suggestions on differential data pricing.
Here is a rundown on the issue.
The policymakers have to not only decide the fate of services such as Free Basics but also find ways to deliver digital equality fast.
We need to provide full Internet at prices people can afford, not privilege private platforms. This is where India’s regulatory system has to step in.
"There is no guarantee that the good faith promise Facebook has made today to protect Free Basics users’ privacy will be permanent.”
He appeared in a video to personally promote Free Basics and also wrote a personal appeal in one of the leading newspapers.
"We expect the stakeholders who participate to provide meaningful inputs on this issue,” TRAI Chairman R.S. Sharma told The Hindu.
Atleast 40 faculty members so far have signed the petition lambasting Free Basics as 'misleading' and 'flawed'.
The last date for submission of comments has been pushed to Jan 7, while last date for counter-comments pushed to January 14.