Thursday, 11 February 2016

Facebook Shuts Down Free Basics in India

Soon after Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) supported Net Neutrality and banned differential pricing, Facebook has pulled shut down Free Basics in India. Differential pricing means charging customers different prices for access to different websites and services.

“Free Basics is no longer available to people in India,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an emailed statement to TOI. Reliance Communications had partnered with Facebook for Free Basics (then Internet.Org) to provide the service in India, but it was suspended by the TRAI as it did not follow the principles of Net Neutrality.

Facebook had previously expressed it's disappointment with the regulation mandated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, which dealt a huge setback to the social networking giant's efforts to promote it's Free Basics platform in India. Facebook says Free Basics is designed to connect the unconnected billions but critics say it creates a walled garden of only selected websites or apps, thus violating the concept of net neutrality. 

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