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Looking to resolve Net Neutrality issues by early 2016, says TRAI

  • The Telecom
    Regulatory Authority of India has said it is looking to solve issues revolving
    around Net Neutrality “part-by-part”, and come up with the final
    guidelines based on the views received from different stakeholders, by early
    2016.
  •  
  • “We expect to
    resolve some of the (issues pertaining to) the basic principles of Net Neutrality

    • The Telecom
      Regulatory Authority of India has said it is looking to solve issues revolving
      around Net Neutrality “part-by-part”, and come up with the final
      guidelines based on the views received from different stakeholders, by early
      2016.
    •  
    • “We expect to
      resolve some of the (issues pertaining to) the basic principles of Net Neutrality
      next year,” Trai Chairman R S Sharma told the
      Press Trust of India.
    •  
    • A debate on net
      neutrality stirred across the country after Airtel decided to charge separately
      for Internet-based calls, but withdrew it later following protests. Internet
      activists and experts flayed the operator for the ‘Airtel Zero’ service, along
      with Facebook’s Internet.org service, now renamed as ‘Free Basics’.
    •  
    • Amid the raging debate
      over zero-rating plans and telecom firms offering discounted tariffs for
      accessing certain websites, Trai issued a consultation paper seeking comments
      on whether such differential pricing should be allowed.
    •  
    • Facebook’s Free
      Basics had partnered with Reliance Communications in February this year to
      provide free Internet access to many websites as part of the initiative.
    •  
    • However, Reliance
      Communications had to put on hold the launch of the Free Basics service,
      following a TRAI directive to this effect. “As directed by TRAI, the commercial
      launch of Free Basics has been kept in abeyance, till they consider all details
      and convey a specific approval,” a Reliance Communications spokesperson said.
    • “When some issues are big, you need to resolve them part-by-part. We are
      currently dealing with the issues as they arrive,” Sharma said.
    •  
    • Trai had in March
      floated another consultation paper on regulation for over the-top applications
      like Skype, Viber, WhatsApp and net neutrality in March. The paper received
      over 10 lakh comments which included most of the messages from a digital
      signature campaign.
    •  
    • “We have
      received large number of comments on that paper. We are working on the comments
      and hope to finalise approach of Trai in coming months,” the Trai Chairman
      added.

     

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