Trai Ex­tends Dead­line to Air Views on Net Neu­tral­ity

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - Our Bureau

New Delhi: In­dia’s tele­com reg­u­la­tor has ex­tended the dead­line to re­ceive views and coun­ter­views on a net neu­tral­ity con­sul­ta­tion pa­per to March 22. The pa­per, is­sued on Jan­uary 4, had ear­lier sought stake­holder views by February 28.

“On re­quest from the stake­hold­ers, the last date for re­ceipt of writ­ten com­ments, if any, from the stake­hold­ers has been ex­tended up to March 15 and counter-com­ments by March 22, 2017,” the Tele­com Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity of In­dia (Trai) said Tuesday.

The reg­u­la­tor had pre­vi­ously set a February 15 dead­line for re­ceiv­ing writ­ten com­ments on the is­sue.

Trai is seek­ing views on es­tab­lish­ing a com­pre­hen­sive frame­work that al­lows users non-dis­crim­i­na­tory ac­cess to the in­ter­net in the con­sul­ta­tion pa­per on net neu­tral­ity, the sub­ject of a bit­ter de­bate be­tween con­tent providers and tele­com op­er­a­tors. The reg­u­la­tor posed 14 ques­tions that at­tempt to de­fine the con­cept of net neu­tral­ity in the In­dian con­text in a 65-page doc­u­ment. The aim is to en­sure that ac­cess is not blocked, throt­tled or pref­er­en­tially treated by ser­vice providers.

The pa­per fol­lows a pre-con­sul­ta­tion pa­per on the sub­ject in May 2016, al­though the de­bate be­gan early 2015 af­ter it was al­leged that tel­cos had vi­o­lated the prin­ci­ple of net neu­tral­ity by ty­ing up with con­tent providers and pro­vid­ing them toll-free ac­cess.

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