Indian telecom regulator, TRAI on Monday said no service provider should offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data on the basis of content. Any service provider found violating the order, would be fined Rs 50,000 per day. The latest ruling came as a big setback to Facebook and its ‘Free Basics’ Internet scheme.
“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.”
The TRAI regulations seek to make data tariffs for internet access, content-agnostic. TRAI will keep a close watch on the implementation of the mandate by service providers. The regulations are guided by principles of net neutrality, to ensure unhindered and non-discriminatory Internet access.