India Bans Free Basics

India rejects Branded Internet

After rounds of controversies and an eventual ban by telecom watchdog TRAI, Free Basics by Facebook has been withdrawn from India after a troubled journey.

Net remains Neutral
Net Neutrality supporters campaigned against Free Basics as it would amplify existing inequalities and restrict innovation and entrepreneurship by creating a multi-tier internet. The real challenge is about developing India’s digital infrastructure. TRAI has proposed common standards to be implemented across the country for everything to work amicably.

Here’s what TRAI Chairman Ram Sewak Sharma announced at a press conference in Delhi, “Today we have come out with a regulation that essentially mandates no service provider shall charge differential pricing on basis of application, platforms, websites, or source. No ISP can enter into any arrangements based on discriminatory pricing.”

Reacting on this Mark Zuckerberg quoted, “Connecting India is an important goal we won’t give up on, because more than a billion people in India don’t have access to the Internet.”

What’s in it for you?
You’ve got all the reasons to cheer as the regulator has passed a ruling against anyone who’s trying to push differential pricing for data services. All this means, you’d continue to have access to non-discriminated tariffs for data.

Our take
We’re one of the fastest growing economies and everyone’s just trying to make hay, what better way to push people into a walled maze called Internet? It’s simple, just get them in and think of Facebook as the internet. If Facebook really wants to play noble, then better bring in something with zero strings attached.

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