Major Setback To Facebook's Free Basics & Airtel Zero As TRAI Declines Discriminatory Data Pricing

| February 8 , 2016 , 17:10 IST
Mobile_Towers_647014gThe Indian telecom regulator, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), on Monday said no service provider should offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data on the basis of content. This is a huge blow to Airtel Zero and Facebook’s Free Basics. "No service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person, natural or legal, that has the effect of discriminatory tariffs for data services being offered or charged to the consumer on the basis of content," the sector regulator said in the notification. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chairman R.S. Sharma said: "No service provider shall charge differential charges based on source, destination, application and content." TRAI warned the operators that they cannot enter into any arrangement based on discriminatory pricing, also said that financial disincentives of Rs 50,000-50 Lakh will be charged if regulations were violated.