Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: With the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) ruling against Facebook's Free Basics, the social networking site could pay a penalty of upto Rs 50 lakh for the campaign.
TRAI on Monday ruled in favour of net neutrality and struck down differential pricing barring companies from charging or offering data traffic on discriminatory basis.
Issuing the 'Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulations, 2016' that bars service providers from offerring or charging discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content, TRAI said it would levy a penalty of Rs 50,000 per day subject to a maximum penalty of Rs 50 lakh on companies violating the rule.
Those violating the law/rule will be fined a penalty of Rs 50,000 per day subject to a maximum penalty of Rs 50 lakh, TRAI said in a statement.
This means that should Facebook continue with its Free Basics in India, TRAI could penalise them for the same.
The social networking giant expressed disappointment over TRAI's decision saying it adversely impacts its free internet platform Free Basics.
Free Basics allows users to visit certain sites, especially Facebook for free, i.e. without any charge on user's data.
Our goal with Free Basics is to bring more people online with an open, non-exclusive and free platform. While disappointed with the outcome, we will continue our efforts to eliminate barriers and give the unconnected an easier path to the internet and the opportunities it brings," Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.