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Trai to release recommendations on net neutrality within a month

Telecom regulator Trai said it is expected to issue recommendations on the controversial issue of net neutrality in about a month.

“All stakeholders are actively participating in this (net neutrality) debate. I think Trai should be able to give appropriate recommendation to the government which they have asked for,” Trai Chairman RS Sharma said on the sidelines of an open house discussion on the issue. When asked about timeline for recommendations, Sharma said: “It should not take more than a month.”

The telecom operators and internet content providers have been at loggerheads over the issue of net neutrality. While telecom operators have been asking for cost sharing with content providers, internet companies have been pushing for low cost internet services and all move that can increase cost of internet services for consumers.

The government has said that it will decide on framework for net neutrality after getting Trai recommendations. Net neutrality debate in India sparked off after Airtel in December 2014 announced plan to charge data consumed for making internet based calls at base rate.

The base rate of 2G mobile internet were over 500 times high at Rs 10,000 per GB approximately compared to around Rs 175-180 that companies were charging for 1 GB on the same network under a scheme.

The debate further heated up after Airtel and social media firm Facebook launched free internet platforms. These platforms were banned by Trai in February 2016.

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