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Mozilla to TRAI: “toll free API and rewards-based incentives model threaten the open Internet”

The Mozilla Foundation said in its submission that the models proposed by the Indian telecom regulator’s to giving cheap Internet may undermine its own decision of banning differential pricing. The filing was in response to the consultation paper that the the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released in May 2016 discussing ways to provide cheap Internet access in India. The regulator discussed three models of providing subsidised Internet access to users in that paper: - Data-cashback model: A telco agnostic platform that rewards consumers with recharge for data usage or voice usage - Toll-free model or like Airtel Zero: This makes access to some websites free - The FreeBasics Model or the direct money transfer model: Users are reimbursed by a telco agnostic platform that tracks their real time data consumption and tariff The last two models are especially harmful and violate the principals of net neutrality as we have pointed out before. The foundation said that it doesn't support the argument that providing limited access to a small number of websites to those who have not used Internet before offsets the harmful effects of discriminatory pricing. It is difficult to see how some of the models described in this consultation comport with the equal-rating principles or with TRAI’s previous regulatory guidance in the Data Services regulation. More specifically, we are concerned that the toll free API and rewards-based incentives model threaten the open Internet and would ultimately undermine TRAI goals of protecting Indian users. What Mozilla said Telco agnostic platforms don’t solve the problem: The…

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