Telecom regulator TRAI was all set to reject differential pricing for data services from last couple of months. And on Monday TRAI prohibited discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content.
This big step will affect the Facebook’s known ‘Free Basics’ platform and Airtel’s zero-rated platform ‘Airtel Zero’.
Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulation, TRAI said, “on the basis of the content no service provider will be allowed to offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services.
Further added not to enter into any agreement or contracts with anyone which has the effects of discriminatory tariffs for data services being offered to the consumers on the basis of the content.
Violators will be penalized at Rs. 50,000 per day, said regulator TRAI.
An exemption has been made for the emergency services, or at times of public emergency.
Data Service Providers and TRAI:
The order is also expected to bar free or subsidized data packages that offers access to only a selected services, such as Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp messenger.
This result has come as a setback for Facebook and Airtel for their plans for their zero-rated platform.
The Battle for free internet got bigger. Last year, after the campaign for free basis by Facebook, 13.5 Lakh responses favour free basis and 4.84 lakh for saving the internet.
And on this the Bharti Airtel take stand for the differential data pricing and company had argued that Zero-rated products benefits consumers and not commercial entities.
Internet companies through ISPAI, have argued that zero rating will skew the market and will also shut down hundreds of websites. This will affect the startups and the smaller companies.
ISPAI has also argued that zero rating is Anti-competitive practice and monopolistic.
Many of us are in favor of the zero-rated products as it will widen the internet access. This is totally against any opportunity that we want to see in india.
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