The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India asked Reliance Communications to stop Facebook’s Free Basics service for the time being. Reliance is the only telecom company in India to offer the service. The Times of India reported that TRAI issued an order to Reliance on the matter around two weeks ago, and the company gave a compliance report once the service was stopped.
However, according to the report, the company still offers the Free Basics platform as one of its services. It is available to subscribers when they log into the website, so it is unclear whether they have complied to the regulator's order.
The Free Basics service, initially called Internet.org, has drawn a lot of flak over its fine print. The service is supposed to provide Internet, free of cost, to poor people in the country. However, it works against the rules of net neutrality – according to which all material on the Internet should be treated equally by internet service providers. Only a few products and websites, including Facebook, can be accessed through Free Basics.
TRAI has not yet ruled on whether Free Basics conforms to net neutrality or not. Facebook has been campaigning heavily for it in India, and “accidentally” asked its international users to support the campaign as well.