TRAI Extends Deadline for Comments on Net Neutrality


New Delhi: 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 today. 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.

“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.

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 highest ever on any paper floated by it till date, sources said. They said comments received through Facebook or Free Basics platform are around 8 lakh. The regulator has also received similar number of messages from people opposing Facebook’s 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.