Highlights of watchdog order on discriminatory data pricing

New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) Highlights of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) order on discriminatory pricing of data, which has a bearing on services like Facebook’s Free Basics and Airtel’s Zero:

– No discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content

– No contract that has the effect of discriminatory tariffs for data content services

– Internet has to be made available to large number of people without discrimination

– No differential charges based on source, destination, application and content

– Exception only in the case of grave emergencies

– Tariff on exceptions need to be reported to watchdog within seven days

– Fine of Rs.50,000 per day for each act of contravention with Rs.50-lakh cap

– Differential pricing disadvantages small content providers

– It creates entry barriers and and stifle innovation

– It can turn service providers into gatekeepers

– It goes against the freedom of speech, expression and media pluralism

– Ruling may be reviewed after two years or earlier

– Consultation paper evoked sizeable number of responses from individuals

– Responses also from 15 operators, 8 associations, 42 institutions

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