Facebook Shuts Down Controversial Free Basics in India
Facebook has officially withdrawn its controversial Free Basics project in India, after getting a lot of criticism in India, after a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) ruling barred operators from charging different rates for Internet access based on content, which resulted into a big blow to Facebook’s Free Basics and other such plans like WhatsApp plans etc.
“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,” Trai Chairman Ram Sewak Sharma had said announcing the verdict at a press conference in Delhi on Monday.
Reacting to Monday’s verdict, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said “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.”
Even though Free Basics is no longer available in India, the service continues to operate in over 30 countries around the world.