Friday, December 25, 2015

[India]: TRAI Stops Free Facebook

Another step in India's Net Neutrality regulation process (see "India Planned Net Neutrality Laws" - here).

Even before its public consultation over ‘Differential Pricing for Data Services’ [here] the telecom regulator, TRAI, has taken an action on the partnership between Reliance Communications and Facebook.

[Related post - "FB CEO: We Support Net Neutrality (w/ Zero Rating)" - here and "Aircel [India] Offers Facebook Aware Service" - here]

The BBC reported that "Facebook's effort to provide Indians with free access to a limited number of internet services has run into trouble.India's telecoms regulator has asked the mobile network that partnered with the US firm to put their Free Basics offer on hold.

A spokesman for Reliance Communications - the mobile network that had supported the scheme - confirmed it would comply with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's demand. "As directed by TRAI, the commercial launch of Free Basics has been kept in abeyance, until they consider all details and convey a specific approval," a spokesman told the BBC.

Facebook said that it would continue to lobby for its scheme. "We are committed to Free Basics and to working with Reliance and the relevant authorities to help people in India get connected," a spokeswoman said".

See "India puts brakes on Facebook's Free Basics scheme" - here.