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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Monday announced that no Telecom Service Provider will be allowed to offer discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content. “Prohibition of discriminatory tariff is necessary to ensure that service providers continue to fulfill obligations in keeping internet open and non-discriminatory.”, the regulator said in a statement.
If the norms are not followed, a penalty of ₹ 50,000/day, subject to a maximum of ₹ 50,00,000 will be levied on the service providers. The statement also added, “No service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person, natural or legal, that has the effect of discriminatory tariffs for data services being offered or charged by the service provider for the purpose of evading the prohibition in this regulation.” The regulator gave only six months to comply with the new rules.
The statement also added, “Only exemption – tariffs may be reduced for accessing emergency services or at times of public emergency.” The Authority has also mentioned that it may review these regulations after the expiry of a period of two years from the date on which these regulations come into effect, or on any earlier date as it may deem fit.