Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI), Monday announced its final decision to prohibit service providers from charging differential rates for data services. This rule which comes to effect immediately spells bad news for a number of sponsored data initiatives in the country, namely Facebook’s Free Basics.
“While formulating the regulations, the authority has largely been guided by the principles of net neutrality seeking to ensure that consumers get unhindered and non-discriminatory access to the internet,” TRAI said in a new consultative paper titled ‘Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulations, 2016’
Last year, Facebook via its internet.org initiative launched the Free Basics app to all Reliance Communications customers across all circles in the country. Following concerns on net neutrality, the Operator had to stall the service pending TRAI's decision.