Facebook’s ‘Free Basics’ plan stymied in India by regulators

A big blow for Facebook in the world’s second-most populous nation. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India issued a ruling that will effectively kill Facebook’s plans to launch its Free Basics plan in the country. Free Basics offers free access to certain websites (but not others). The regulatory agency’s new ruling, which doesn’t mention Free Basics by name, takes a net neutrality stance, blocking all services from providing certain types of Internet content but not others. In effect, the ruling will make it impossible for Free Basics to operate in India. It’s no small deal to Facebook: The company has reportedly spent almost $45 million promoting the feature.

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