Net Neutrality: Trai extends deadline for comments to January 7

Trai extends the last date for receiving comments on its paper on differential data pricing by a week

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: December 31, 2015 2:48 am
Facebook, Free Basics, TRAI, Net Neutrality, COAI, AUSPI, tech news, technology Trai extends the last date for receiving comments on its paper on differential data pricing by a week

Telecom regulator Trai on Wednesday extended the last date for receiving comments on its paper on differential data pricing — a key aspect of the raging debate on net neutrality – by about a week to January 7.

“We have extended it to January 7 mainly due to request from telecom industry bodies,” Trai chairman RS Sharma said. The deadline for comments on the paper was ending on Wednesday.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has extended date for counter comments to January 14, which was earlier set to close on January 7.

 

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“On the request of the stakeholders, the last date for receipt of written comments/views has been extended up to January 7 and counter comments, if any, up to January 14. It has also been decided that no request for any further extension of time for submission of comments/counter comments shall be entertained,” Trai said in a statement.

 

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Although the paper by Trai does not mention or use the term net neutrality, it details the idea of zero-rating platforms that have stirred up a big debate on the issue across the country.

Trai has received about 16.5 lakh comments, sources said. They said comments received through Facebook or Free Basics platform are around 8 lakh. Trai has also received similar number of messages from people opposing Free Basics and other zero-rating programmes, and about 3,000 individual messages. As per SavetheInternet forum, the net neutrality principle says that internet service providers should not block or discriminate against any applications or content that rides over their networks.

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  1. R
    Rajib
    Jan 1, 2016 at 6:40 am
    Any selective preferential access to websites by any platform or Internet access model is a blatant violation of Net Neutrality principle and is equivalent to creating a digital caste system in cyberspace. Internet should be for everyone but owned and controlled by none. We as free men and women have freedom of choice and this applies to our choice of what we want to access over Internet and what we don't. No one has the right to dictate us. Any eny or organization in conflict with net neutrality should be opposed. Facebook's attempt to create Free Basic, as I perceive is nothing but a personal ambition driven long term goal of establishing itself as the controller of the Internet. It is an attempt to rob the efforts put in by research and development community (since the time of ARPANET) to create the complex digital ever evolving organism which we call the Internet. For those still deluded by the promises of Free Basics, for a developing country like us we need to focus more on basic human needs like education, healthcare, power, livelihood, women empowerment and fighting malnutrition. Access to Internet is not limited by our 2G/3G/4G mobile connectivity alone. We can put efforts for developing widespread Internet access infrastructure based on free public WiFi (2.4GHz and 5GHz bands under ISM and UNII), unused TV White spaces, LiFi, Free Space Optics, unlicensed spectrum E-Band So, why on first place do we need a business model for accessing the Internet when the problem is resolvable in technical domain. Now one may still argue that we will still be charged by service provider even if we implement the stated license free network access architecture, surely we would be charged. But just ask yourself, if in futue all websites become 100% affiliated to Free Basics will the service provider give free access and not charge a single penny for any and all websites? Will there be no data charging by service provider in future if we become part of the Free Basics model? This is an impractical business model and cannot add to sustainability of business If at all service providers are so concerned with giving away free internet access then provide a basic rate of access like 64 kbps or 128 kbps for everyone which would not be charged rather than creating zero plans or getting affiliated to platforms like Free Basics.
    Reply
  2. S
    Sirius
    Dec 30, 2015 at 12:04 pm
    A case for differential pricing : Use of internet in Education has a huge potential. It can effectively address the issue of a missing or incompetent teachers, and take the school to the children , involve the parents in child education , delivery of education to adults etc. All this needs high bandwidth access to selected education sites at a very low cost, but with large data download/upload. I feel that such a data package should be made available under differential pricing ...
    Reply