Soon after the TRAI had issued its landmark regulation prohibiting differential pricing for data services, telecom operators and Facebook have revealed their displeasure over the judgement.
The telecom operators under the banner of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has expressed utter disappointment over the TRAI regulation banning differential pricing for data services. The body claims that the differential pricing would have helped them connecting the one billion unconnected citizens of India.
Interestingly, Facebook, which was extensively pushing its Free Basics campaign in India, echoed similar sentiments but added that it will continue to make efforts to provide an easier path to the Internet. The company is said to shift its focus to Express Wi-Fi, which would empower a local Indian entrepreneur to purchase an inexpensive set of hardware and start a business to offer Internet access to their town or region.
Speaking about the regulation, Rajan Mathews, Director General, COAI, said, “In our opinion, TRAI’s regulation on prohibiting differential pricing constitutes a welfare-reducing measure of high concern by blocking a possible avenue for our less-advantaged citizens to move to increased economic growth and prosperity by harnessing the power of the Internet. We believe that this measure will have an impact on the Government’s ambitious Digital India initiative.”