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TRAI asks Reliance Communications to pause Free Basics: report

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has supposedly asked Reliance Communications (RCOM) to stop providing Free Basics, Facebook’s net neutrality violating platform, temporarily, and asked it to give TRAI a compliance report stating that the service has been stopped, reports ET. The publication added that RCOM had received this notice from TRAI two weeks ago. When contacted, Facebook replied with an unrelated and boilerplate response saying: “We are committed to Free Basics and to working with Reliance and the relevant authorities to help people in India get connected.” MediaNama has also written to  RCOM  for further details and will update this once we hear from them. As of now, the TRAI is yet to take a stand on net neutrality and zero rating in the country, and is debating whether telecom operators should be allowed to have differential pricing for different content. The ET report also states that RCOM is yet to pull the service off of its platform, giving its subscribers the Free Basics login screen. However, readers should note that Medianama was unable to verify this claim independently. Facebook started rolling out Internet.org in India in February this year with the mission to become a gateway to the internet by providing certain free services. This plan was developed especially for developing countries where the internet penetration and awareness is low. The next month, Sunil Mittal, Bharti Airtel’s chief, called out the service as a boon only to Facebook, and not philanthropy given its limited scope of access. Facebook’s email campaign:…

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I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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