India Wins. Facebook Loses. TRAI Says NO To FreeBasics

TRAI has announced its verdict on Facebook’s free basics and while the regulatory body has acknowledged ((and blasted) Facebook for its unethical campaign, the final verdict is pro-freedom and has said no to Facebook’s Free Basics program.

TRAI: No service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content

TRAI has ruled against differential pricing.

  • No service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person, natural or legal, that has the effect of discriminatory tariffs for data services being offered or charged by the service provider for the purpose of evading the prohibition in this regulation.
  • Reduced tariff for accessing or providing emergency services, or at times of public emergency has been permitted.
  • Financial disincentives for contravention of the regulation have also been specified.

And while we are at it, do note that several organizations like NASSCOM actually were in support of differential pricing.

Facebook spent whopping Rs. 300 crores to get people to support its Free Basics program, a program that would have given Facebook control over what users will have access to.

TRAI questioned Facebook’s methodology of garnering support (which has been full of unethical practices) and TRAI has now given Facebook what it deserved – Babaji ka Thullu!

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