Digital titan- Facebook’s internet platform for India gets a setback with telecom regulator TRAI prefers net neutrality. Its policy document stated that tariff for data services can not vary on the basis of type of content being accessed by uses.
Facebook along with local service providers were planning for the launch of free basics which was aimed at providing selected internet data without any data charge.
Airtels’ Zero Rating is another such package aimed at providing selected internet sites free of cost.
Opponents of free basics argued that these selective free service providing is against the concept of net neutrality. All data should be provided to subscribers without discriminating on content, source or application etc.
For facebook, free basics was its big platform on which it can develop a customer base and traffic. The advantage of providing internet freely is that it can control the content and maneuver commercial aspects like advertising while attracting huge traffic.
But TRAI’s decision against differentiating content supply is a big loss for the internet giant. At a time when it is finding difficult to realize revenues out of its usual social media services, free basics was the revenue potential for the future. Control of content and marketing operations were the real gains for Facebook. With TRAI’s opposition, facebook has to look for some other sources.