The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said it had received
record submissions on a consultation paper for framing differential
pricing rules that will decide the fate of Facebook Inc's free Internet
The telecommunications regulator said it will finalise the
new rules by end of January after a hearing process with stakeholders
that will extend through the month.
Trai earlier this month said
it had received nearly 6 lakh submissions on the consultation paper.
The regulator had received
over 10 lakh comments on first consultation that it floated around net
neutrality - thus, the submissions for this paper must have beat that
India has become a battleground over the right to
unrestricted Internet access, with local tech start-ups joining the
frontline against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his plan to roll
out free Internet to the country's masses.
Trai has asked Facebook
and its India telecom partner Reliance Communications Ltd to put on
hold the launch of the Free Basics service till the final rules are in
India's mobile phone subscriber base peaked to more than 1
billion users for the first time, data released by Trai on Wednesday
making India the only country after China to achieve that milestone.
wireless subscribers in Asia's third-largest economy rose to more than 1
billion at the end of October from 996.7 million at September-end, the
data showed. Mobile subscriptions in India have surged in recent years,
helped by the launch of cheaper smartphones and record low call rates as
a result of a cut throat competition among mobile phone operators to
expand customer base.
Written with inputs from Reuters