Reliance Communications (RCom) has been asked by the telecom regulator Trai to suspend Facebook’s Free Basics services on its network till it submits the terms and conditions of the services, including tariff plans, according to media reports.
“Trai has today (Wednesday) again written to RCom to submit details of the plans, and asked it not to commercially offer the services till the regulator clears it, especially as there is a consultation process going on related matters,” the person was quoted by the Economic Times as saying.
The Trai’s move comes amid a consultation paper that it floated earlier this month to determine the legitimacy of zero-rating plans and bundling of certain data free or at a discounted rate by telcos in the country. RCom is the only telecom operator in the country to partner with Facebook to offer a set of basic internet services free to its subscribers under the Free Basics platform, which has been criticized by experts for violating net neutrality, a concept under which internet service providers must treat all traffic as equal.
Reports suggest that RCom isn’t promoting the service anymore, but continues to offer the service on its network.
Facebook’s Free Basics service, earlier known as internet.org, allows access to certain websites and not just Facebook without mobile data charges.