comscore PMO appoints high-powered committee to look into Net Neutrality vs Free Basics debate: Report

PMO appoints high-powered committee to look into Net Neutrality vs Free Basics debate: Report


The constant to and fro between TRAI and Facebook on the Net Neutrality vs Free Basics debate is quite well documented. A report now says that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has stepped into the debate and is apparently siding with TRAI. Also Read - TRAI instructs all telecom operators to enable port-out SMS facility irrespective of tariff plans

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The PMO is said to be displeased with the way Facebook has responded to TRAI’s consultation paper on differential pricing of data. The Office says that TRAI’s final recommendation on the paper should reflect the government’s ‘commitment to free and fair, and democratic access to the Internet’, ET reports. Also Read - Facebook Gaming launches Pac-Man Community: Features online multi-player mode

Ever since TRAI made its consultation paper public to get comments, Facebook has been using any means necessary to promote Free Basics. This debate reached a stage where Facebook accused the regulator of unsubscribing from its emails on net neutrality. TRAI, on the other hand, slammed the social media giant for turning a public engagement exercise into a crudely majoritarian and orchestrated opinion poll .

TRAI is expected to reveal its recommendations on the issue of differential pricing of data. With that in mind, the report says that PMO has setup a high-powered committee headed by Communications and IT Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of State for PMO, Jitendra Singh, and Science and Technology Minister, Harsh Vardhan. This panel will meet after TRAI submits its recommendations, and is also keeping an eye on what Facebook does next in defending Free Basics.

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  • Published Date: February 4, 2016 5:58 PM IST

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