Social media major Facebook has alleged that someone at telecom regulator Trai’s office blocked email from its websites which people used for sharing their comments on differential pricing issue — a key issue of net neutrality.
Facebook has launched a public campaign to defend its free Internet platform Free Basics in response to consultation paper floated by The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on regulatory framework for differential pricing for data services.
The social media apprehends that the regulator may ban its Free Basics platform, which allows access to some websites and applications, and hence launched a massive campaign to gather support in its favour.
According to sources, Facebook in a letter to the regulator, has said that despite clear and timely efforts by millions of Indians to send their comments, "someone with access to designated Trai email account appears to have blocked receipt of all emails from Facebook to that Trai account."
It said that during its query its found that "on December 17 at 5.51.53 GMT, an individual with access to the Trai email account designated to accept comments took action that blocked Facebook from delivering any additional email to that address."
Facebook said that the action by person prevented Facebook system from sending further responsive email to Trai.
The last date for public comments on Trai paper was earlier December 30 which was later extended to January 7.
As per Trai data it has received around 24 lakh comments till January 7.
Releasing number of responses received through facebookmail.com and supportfreebasics.in, Trai has said that it received only 1.89 million while Facebook’s claimed the number to be more than 11 million supporting its plan to make parts of the Internet available for free under ‘Free Basics’.
This is first ever consultation paper on which Trai has received maximum comments from people.
An analysis of a record 24 lakh comments, as disclosed by TRAI to its consultation paper on differential pricing for data services, shows that 18.94 lakh replies are in support of Free Basics, of which 13.5 lakh views are through supportfreebasics.in and without the senders individual e-mail IDs while further 5.44 lakh comments have come from facebookmail.com.