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TRAI backs Net Neutrality, says no to Facebook's Free Basics
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Monday prohibited discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content. This move comes as a big blow to Facebook's highly-controversial 'Free Basics' platform and Airtel's zero-rated platform 'Airtel Zero'.

The order released by TRAI reads, "no service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content.....no service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person... that has the effect of discriminatory tariffs for data services being offered or charged to the consumer on the basis of content," as reported by TOI.

However an exemption has been made for emergency services, or at times of public emergency.

Kunal Bahl, the CEO and co-founder of Snapdeal immediately responded to TRAI verdict calling it to a good move.



Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a Rajya Sabha MP tweeted:



Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party Leader and Chief National Spokesperson of the party, Derek O 'Brien also reacted saying:



Aaditya Thackeray, son of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray called it a big win for all those who were fighting for Net Neutrality.



On December 9, Facebook started a mass campaign on its platform asking users to support Free Basics. It even urged the users to email TRAI declaring their support on "digital equality".

TRAI had warned the social media giant, not to try all this, and has called Facebook's Save Free Basics campaign a "crudely majoritarian and orchestrated opinion poll".

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