Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) discards over 14 lakh comments on the differential pricing policy through Facebook’s Free Basics campaign.
Slamming the campaign, the regulator body reached out to the supporters of Free Basics pointing towards the fact that the campaign supporters does not answer questions raised by TRAI in the consultation paper. TRAI has invited more comments on the consultation paper on ‘Differential Pricing for Data Services’ extending the deadline for views to January 7.
The paper seeks to determine whether the free data and zerorating plans of telcos are misleading and violate net neutrality rules. As per reports, TRAI has received 18.27 lakh responses so far, some of which are through direct texts while about 14 lakh comments are through Facebook supporting the campaign.
However, TRAI does not seem to consider those comments as opinions because those mention supporting Free Basics but do not answer the questions raised in the consultation paper.
Hence the regulator has been writing back to those respondents in order to receive a fullfledged opinion from them. Reports state that the regulator body has also received 3.81 lakh comments supporting net neutrality from volunteerled groups like savetheinternet.in.
As per the Media report, Facebook Inc. has also spent Rs 300 crores on its ongoing Free Basics campaign in the country. The company is estimated to have spent the maximum on print media, in the range of Rs 180-200 crore.