Social media service, Facebook Inc. (FB – Analyst Report) has run into trouble with Indian regulators. Per media reports, the Telecom Authority of India (TRAI) has asked Facebook’s operator partner, Reliance Communications, to “put on hold” Facebook’s Free Basics services in the country for the time being.
Reportedly, TRAI had sent the notice to Reliance Communications two weeks back. However, the service is still accessible.
TRAI is assessing whether the Free Basics service is in sync with the net neutrality principle and has asked Reliance to submit a detailed report about the terms and conditions of Facebook’s service. Meanwhile, the regulatory body is also seeking public opinion on the matter.
The Indian government is in the process of setting new rules for net neutrality. The draft of the new guidelines is expected to be out on Dec 28. The final version is expected to be out on Jan 4 following amendments.
Net neutrality implies an open-Internet atmosphere, which will prohibit ISPs, especially telecom and cable TV operators, from discriminating against applications.
Free Basics Services, a part of the Internet.org project, is Facebook’s effort to rope in more users by providing free access to Internet across the 19 emerging markets of South East Asia, Latin America and Africa. These emerging economies with their burgeoning population offer a great scope for expanding its user base. The project was launched two years back and carries $1 billion in investment. – See more at: http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/202142/facebook-fb-runs-into-trouble-with-indian-regulators#sthash.uEvecgoo.dpuf