Facebook’s Free Basics platform has now become a paid service after the country’s telecom watchdog Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) ruled against differential pricing and banned the platform.
After the ruling, Reliance Communications (RCom) and Facebook has decided to make it a paid platform, a TOI report said adding that it also primarily defeats the purpose of providing low-cost or free-of-cost connectivity to millions of people in India. The decision was taken just after TRAI had banned the service which Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg called a disappointment.
He had also said that the company would keep fighting for its cause and reach its objective of connecting millions of people in the country.
However, Facebook didn’t send an official response to the development but a RCom spokesperson confirmed the development. “To be fully compliant with the new regulations announced by TRAI, RCom has already begun the process of re-configuring access to FreeBasics, from the current free regime to a chargeable one, as per the existing data plans of our customers,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying, pointing out that it will be billed as per a customer’s mobile internet or data plan.
The transition will be completed soon. “The extensive technical configurations involved will be completed in the next few days, “ the RCom spokesperson said. The platform, which can now be accessed on all telecom operators’ network, during the time of struggle had managed to garner around 10 lakh users. The platform also doesn’t have any arrangement with the telecom operators.