COAI seeks clarification from TRAI on discriminatory tariffs

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New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) The telecom service providers’ association has written to the sector regulator seeking further clarification on prohibition of discriminatory tariffs for data services.

“…Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has introduced a new terminology Closed Electronic Communications (CECN) Networks. While TRAI has prohibited telecom service providers to offer differential tariffs for data services on the basis of content, it has allowed the same over CECN network,” said the letter sent by the association to the regulator, a copy of which is available with the IANS.

The letter dated May 16, was written by Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) director general Rajan S. Mathews to Sudhir Gupta, TRAI secretary.

“A transparent understanding with adequate illustrations and clarity is necessary on the concept of CECN enunciated in TRAI’s regulation,” the letter stated.

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COAI has requested the sector regulator to review its decision over CECN network.

“We earnestly request the Authority to review its decision over the CECN network and allow differential tariffs on the basis of content, irrespective of whether such content is provided through the closed network or open internet,” it added.

In a move seen as an endorsement of net neutrality, the telecom watchdog on February 8 said no to discriminatory pricing of data content services.

“No service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said in a much-awaited regulatory order.

“No service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person, natural or legal, that has the effect of discriminatory tariffs for data services being offered or charged to the consumer on the basis of content,” the watchdog said.

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