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अंग्रेज़ी सीखने का अवसर (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 5 अक्तूबर, शाम 6 से 8)
Q. Differential pricing and Net neutrality: In the context of newly issued consultation of paper by TRAI on net neutrality and differential pricing, comment on the issue.
May 21, 2016 Related to : GS-paper-3 and 2

Ans :

Introduction-

Differential pricing is the term used to describe the practice of charging different prices to different buyers for the same product.

Net neutrality is the term used to describe the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favouring or blocking particular products or websites.

In news-

Recently The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a fresh consultation paper to discuss the issue of net neutrality and differential pricing.

Background-

After protest from various corners about Flipkart-Airtel deal TRAI has asked telecom operators to stop offering plans that allow access to a limited number of websites free or at a cost lower than what is paid for accessing the internet in general. By doing so TRAI has upheld the basic principles of network neutrality, which is to enable fair, equal and non-discriminatory access to all.

Issue-

  • In fresh consultation paper, TRAI reckons that there is a need for some operator new platforms that can enable app developers to promote their websites by providing incentive to users.

  • It has proposed 3 different models under which websites/apps such as Flipkart,Uber etc will be able to either waive or pay for the data charges a consumer bears while accessing their sites.

Analysis-

  • According to TRAI, these 3 different models will unable smaller entrepreneurs to flourish without leaving the gate-keeping function in the hands of telecom operators.

  • But in reality, the new proposal allows differential pricing indirectly and which in-turn will hurt the small players. And it will allow well-funded e-commerce sites to reimburse the data charges incurred by the user while a smaller player would struggle to offer such benefits.

Conclusion-

Allowing differential pricing for any website or Apps is the violation of the principles of net neutrality. The present paper even contradicts the TRAIs February decision of asking internet provider to stop differential pricing. Hence to maintain the level playing field TRAI should stick to its earlier stand and should not allow any exceptions on differential pricing.


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