Updating villages: 100 MB at a time

New Delhi, November 30: The Telecom Authority of India (TRAI) is planning on giving out free 100 MB of data to the rural population. However, the telecom regulatory body will focus more on the connectivity and local language content.

In a report by the Economic Times, it was made clear by TRAI that they will not be bending the rule that stops mobile operators to price data services at very low prices so as to make the data market a fair place. Instead, TRAI will introduce an aggregator model to offer non-discriminatory generalized data plans. This model according to the report will also ensure transparency as all data service providers will have to declare the cost of providing free data to the users.

In a statement, made public by the telecom body on 29 November, it said, “The authority had based its recommendations on the data prices existing in September 2016. However, the authority takes cognisance of the fact that after entry of a new player with a focus on data services, the competition in the data market segment has become more intense and consequently, there has been a steep decline in data prices during the last one year”.

DoT’s plans for connecting remote rural areas to mobile network coincides with TRAI’s plan of free data.

Recently, TRAI came out in full support of net neutrality and also issued its recommendations on net neutrality, which specifically recommend that license terms be amplified to restrict any kind of discrimination to internet access.


By Prerna Chatterjee with Agency inputs