Reliance Communications has been asked to stop the Free Basics service of Facebook temporarily by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), The Times of India reported.
Reliance is Facebook's sole telecom partner in India to offer a set of basic internet services free to its subscribers.
"We have asked them (Reliance Communications) to stop it and they have given us a compliance report that it has been stopped," a senior government official told TOI.
TRAI has not yet come to a decision on whether Free Basics violates the spirit of net neutrality.
Facebook users across India were recently receiving a notification informing them that either one or many of their friends have allowed Facebook to send a message to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India asking them to support â€śFree Basics in Indiaâ€ť. This came following TRAIâ€™s second round of consultation on certain questions around Net Neutrality in India.
"The question has arisen whether a telecom operator should be allowed to have differential pricing for different kinds of content. Unless that question is answered, it will not be appropriate for us to continue to make that happen," the official told TOI.
However, the Free Basics platform is still available to subscribers on Reliance's website, adds the report.
What is net neutrality?
Simply put, "net neutrality" is the way we use internet today. Say you have a broadband connection of 1mbps from BSNL for Rs 500. You can use your internet for accessing practically anything on the internet, be it videos, apps, voice services, search engines or email. WhatsApp is accessible the same way Google is, there is no difference in quality or cost within the same internet service provider's network. That's net neutrality.
Read our earlier piece explaining the concept of net neutrality: Net Neutrality simplified - and why your opinion to the government may make a difference