Telecom regulator TRAI on Monday prohibited discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content. The move is a big blow to Facebook’s highly-controversial ‘Free Basics’ platform and Airtel’s zero-rated platform ‘Airtel Zero’.
Times of India reports – In an order, ‘Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulation’, Trai said, “no service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content.”
The regulator further said that “no service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person… that has the effect of discriminatory tariffs for data services being offered or charged to the consumer on the basis of content.” And if anyone breaks the norms then the organization will be penalized Rs. 50,000/- per day basis.
An exemption has been made for emergency services, or at times of public emergency.
Expressing disappointment on India’s decision on net neutrality, Facebook founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg has said he is committed to keep working to break down connectivity barriers in India and around the world.
“Internet.org has many initiatives, and we will keep working until everyone has access to the internet,” Mr Zuckerberg said in a post on the Facebook yesterday, his first reaction to the ruling of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on net neutrality.
“While we’re disappointed with today’s decision, I want to personally communicate that we are committed to keep working to break down barriers to connectivity in India and around the world. Internet.org has many initiatives, and we will keep working until everyone has access to the internet,” he said.
“We know that connecting them can help lift people out of poverty, create millions of jobs and spread education opportunities. We care about these people, and that’s why we’re so committed to connecting them,” he said.
References : IndiaTimes, NDTV
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