Citizens' Issues
TRAI extends comments deadline on differential pricing
New Delhi : The Indian telecom regulator has extended the date of submission of comments by another week, till Jan 7, for the consultation paper on "differential pricing", official sources said on Wednesday.
 
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) sources said all the comments should reach the regulator with Jan 7 and the regulator will come out with counter-comments by Jan 14.
 
The deadline for receiving comments was ending on Wednesday.
 
Differential pricing on data services is an important aspect of net neutrality.
 
The TRAI on December 9 said differential pricing of data services by various operators might potentially go against the principle of non-discriminatory tariff and sought comments or opinions from stakeholders.
 
It said some service providers were offering differential data tariff, either free or discounted, on certain contents of particular websites, applications or platforms.
 
"The objective of offering such schemes is claimed to be the desire of various service/content/platform providers to enable consumers, especially the poor, to access certain content on the Internet free of charge," the sector regulator said.
 
It said potentially, both positive and negative effects arise from an economic and regulatory perspective where reduced rates are tied to specific content.
 
"On the one hand, it appears to make overall Internet access more affordable by reducing costs of certain types of content. On the other hand, several negative effects might ensue. Differential tariffs result in classification of subscribers based on the content they want to access. This may potentially go against the principle of non-discriminatory tariff," it added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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IIT, IISc faculty slam Facebook's Free Basics
Kolkata : Academicians from India's premier institutes IITs and IISc have slammed Facebook's Free Basics initiative, terming it "flawed" and "misleading".
 
In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, around 50 faculty members from IITs (Bombay, Delhi, Kharagpur, Madras, Patna) and IISc Bengaluru have denounced the proposal dubbing it a "lethal combination that will lead to total lack of freedom on how Indians can use the internet".
 
Listing three major flaws in the programme, the scientists urged the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to "thoroughly reject" Facebook's "free basics" proposal.
 
"The first obvious flaw in the proposal is that Facebook assumes control of defining what a 'basic' service is.
 
"Facebook will have access to all your apps' contents.
 
"This flaw is not visible to the lay person as it's a technical detail, but it has deep and disturbing implications. Since Facebook can access un-encrypted contents of users' 'basic' services, either we get to consider health apps to be not basic, or risk revealing health records of all Indians to Facebook.
 
"The third flaw is that the term 'free' in 'free basics' is a marketing gimmick."
 
The academicians said that the 'Free Basics' proposal "is flawed as above is alarming but not surprising, for it violates one of the core architectural principles of internet design: net neutrality.
 
"Compromising net neutrality, an important design principle of the internet, would invariably lead to deep consequences on people's freedom to access and use information.
 
"We, therefore, urge that the TRAI should support net neutrality in its strongest form, and thoroughly reject Facebook's 'free basics' proposal."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article. 

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COMMENTS

R Balakrishnan

11 months ago

IF Facebook succeeds, it will clearly demonstrate that someone in the Government of India is corrupt.

Cabinet approves railway infrastructure JVs with states
New Delhi : The cabinet on Wednesday approved the formation of joint venture companies with state governments to undertake various railway infrastructure projects.
 
"This would ensure greater participation of state governments in implementation of railway projects both in terms of financial participation as well as decision making process," a satement issued after a cabinet meeting said.
 
The railway ministry's initial paid up capital will be restricted to Rs.50 crore for each state.
 
"Each Joint Venture would have an initial paid up capital of Rs.100 crore based on the quantum of projects to be undertaken. Further infusion of fund/equity for the purpose of the projects shall be done after approval of the project and its funding at the level of appropriate competent authority," the statement said.
 
Project specific Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) can also be formed by the joint ventures with equity holding by other stakeholders like banks, ports, public sector undertakings, mining companies and others.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article. 

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COMMENTS

Jyoti Dua

11 months ago

A good initiative. This will give an opportunity to States to have their say in the development of railways within the state. This will also offer an opportunity to PSU like Coal India, NTPC and Corporates to join in the venture to meet their requirement for railway network. Hope these joint ventures are successful.

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