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Put Free Basics service on hold, TRAI tells Reliance Communications

  • Telecom Regulatory
    Authority of India has asked Reliance Communications to temporarily stop the Free
    Basics service of Facebook. “We have asked them (Reliance Communications)
    to stop it and they have given us a compliance report that it has been

    • Telecom Regulatory
      Authority of India has asked Reliance Communications to temporarily stop the Free
      Basics service of Facebook. “We have asked them (Reliance Communications)
      to stop it and they have given us a compliance report that it has been
      stopped,” a senior government official told the
      Times of India.
    •  
    • Reliance
      Communications is Facebook’s sole telecom partner in India to offer a set of basic
      internet services free to its subscribers. The service is called Free Basics.
      Earlier known as internet.org, Free Basics has been criticised by several
      experts as being against the spirit of net neutrality.
    •  
    • TRAI is yet to form a
      view whether Free Basics conforms to net neutrality. “The question has
      arisen whether a telecom operator should be allowed to have differential
      pricing for different kinds of content. Unless that question is answered, it
      will not be appropriate for us to continue to make that happen,” a source
      told the newspaper, in reference to the Facebook-Reliance ‘Free Basics’
      platform.
    •  
    • Reliance
      Communications is still to pull the Free Basics platform off its services. The
      Free Basics platform is available to subscribers of the telecom company when
      they log into the website, leaving a question mark over the compliance to the
      regulator’s order.
    •  
    • Apart from the
      telecom regulator, a Parliamentary committee is also finalizing recommendations
      on net neutrality, which should also address the issues around zero-rated
      platforms such as Free Basics.

     

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