TRAI extends comment deadline on free data consultation till June 30

The Telephone Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has decided to extend the last date to June 30 for submitting comments on consultation paper regarding free data. The same paper was issued on May 19 with the intention of inviting written comments from the stakeholders by June 16 and counter comments by June 30.

Taking note of the stakeholder’s request, the respective dates have been extended to June 30. Now the respective dates have been extended to 30th June for written comments and 14th July for counter comments. The primary reason for issuing the paper was to explore models that could identify the benefits of offering free data.

The paper stated, “The model should use the principles of open, transparent and equal access to consumer services by all consumers and all businesses. TRAI believes that the proposed model should not hold back innovation and the opportunity to increase internet penetration and usage”.

TRAI, on 8th of February, endorsed the concept of net neutrality wherein it said no to the discriminatory pricing of data content. Means that the service providers were not entitled to charge differently on the basis of content. This ruling was appreciated by the user base across the country.

On Thursday, the sector regulator also spoke in favor of a TSP agnostic platform, which has the potential to facilitate the app developer to market their website by offering incentives to the user in lieu of popularizing their website.

The regulator specifically stated, “There is a need to enable smaller entrepreneurs to flourish without permitting gate keeping function in the hands of TSP’s and also to give the consumer more choices for accessing the internet”.

In addition, the consultation paper touched the matter of reimbursing the users as well. It mentioned how the Government reimburses the LPG subsidy directly into the user account and suggested use of a similar process.

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