This comes as the pressure builds on TRAI to dismiss Facebook’s submissions on the campaign

TRAI extends net neutrality consultation deadline to January 7
news Net Neutrality Wednesday, December 30, 2015 - 15:48

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has extended the deadline for receiving comments on its paper on differential data pricing by a week, to January 7.

"It is being extended to January 7, primarily due to extension requests of COAI and AUSPI," PTI quotes an official source as saying.

This announcement came even as various groups shot off letters to TRAI against favouring Facebook's Free Basics initiative.

Taking the net neutrality campaign offline, hundreds of students, hacktivists, IT employees, academics and lawyers held a public meeting in Hyderabad's Gachibowli area on Tuesday and came together singing, sloganeering and banner bearing against Free Basics.

Many faculty members of Computer science and allied subjects of leading Indian institutes such as the IITs and IISc also wrote an open letter to TRAI, asking it to reject Facebook’s service in the interest of the public.

Facebook’s zero-rating platform has been a contentious issue since the social networking giant announced its plan to launch the service in India. Net Neutrality activists have since claimed that this violates the principle of a free internet.

BJD MP Baijayant Jay Panda also shot off a letter batting for netneutrality and added that the mechanism used by Facebook to garner support "might be resulting in people supporting Free Basics without realizing the implications for net neutrality. Hence, the volume of submissions in support of Free Basics should be assessed by TRAI with prudence."

Read: Pressure builds on TRAI to dismiss Facebook’s submissions based on notifications-campaign

The regulatory authority has received about 16.5 lakh comments — highest ever on any paper floated by it till date, out of which, comments received through Facebook or Free Basics are around 8 lakh and an equal number of people opposing it. TRAI also received around 3,000 individual messages, the PTI report adds while quoting a source.

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