Friday, May 20, 2016

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) looks for provide free internet services withing net neutrality.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India still has some questions on free data services. After issuing a ruling on differential pricing of data services in February this year, the regulator floated another consultation paper on Thursday on "Free Data".

Internet Map

This one focuses on schemes that can provide either free data or data reimbursement without dependence on the service provider. As opposed to a model like Free Basics, which provided a select few websites or a "walled garden" for free, this paper invites comments on the viability of a model that has the "benefits of offering free data while avoiding the ingenuity that the Differential Tariff Regulation is meant to prevent".

In the paper issued on Thursday, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India ( Trai ) suggested three models:

1. A toll-free platform for users where browsing will be free

2. Consumers pay upfront and are subsequently reimbursed

3. Applications that reward users with incentives such as recharge for data or voice usage.

Backers of net neutrality criticised the first two models, saying they violate the spirit of a free and neutral Internet.