New Delhi: To convince Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to end the prohibition on differential tariffs for data services, lobby group Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said in a letter to the regulator that such moves are harsh and counterproductive.
“It is rather unfair of Trai to have assumed on its own that differential pricing is equivalent of denying access of internet or any website to end consumer," COAI said in the letter to Trai. “Customers find differential offerings, a great value proposition as these enable them to use various products/services of their choice at a much lower price."
Nikhil Pahwa, co-founder of savetheinternet.in, said that these letters are tactics to build pressure on Trai.
“The telcos view internet as a commercial space forgetting that it involves free speech issues and citizen rights to access all content equally," Pahwa said. “By disagreeing with this regulation, telecom operators want to become gatekeepers instead of gateway for data services."
Trai issued guidelines in February prohibiting differential pricing for internet services.
The telecom industry has maintained that differential pricing is a well accepted and standard principle across the world.