Bangladesh regulator orders telcos to stop providing free access to social media

Bangladesh regulator orders telcos to stop providing free access to social media

Bangladesh’s regulator has ordered telecom operators and different web suppliers within the nation to cease offering free entry to social media companies, changing into the newest market in Asia to take a partial stand towards zero-rating offers.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, the native regulator, mentioned late final week that it had moved to take this resolution as a result of free utilization of social media companies had spurred their misuse by some folks to commit crimes. Local outlet Business Standard first reported in regards to the improvement. Bangladesh is likely one of the largest web markets in Asia with greater than 100 million on-line customers.

Technology corporations comparable to Facebook and Twitter have struck partnerships, extra popularly referred to as zero score offers, with telecom operators and different web suppliers in a number of markets up to now decade to make their companies free to customers to speed up development. Typically, tech corporations bankroll the price of knowledge consumption of customers as a part of these offers.

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In Bangladesh, such zero score offers have been in style for a number of years, mentioned Ahad, chief govt of Bongo, an on-demand streaming service, in an interview with TechCrunch.

Grameenphone and Robi Axiata, two of the most important telecom operators in Bangladesh, allow their cell subscribers to entry a handful of companies of their companions even when their telephones have run out of credit score. Both telecom companies have mentioned they’re within the course of to adjust to Dhaka’s order.

It stays unclear whether or not Free Basics, a program run by Facebook in dozens of markets by means of which it affords limitless entry to pick companies without charge, will proceed its presence in Bangladesh after the nation’s order. Facebook depends on telecom networks to supply knowledge entry for its Free Basics program.

In Bangladesh, Facebook struck offers with Grameenphone and Robi Axiata, based on its official web site, the place Facebook continues to determine Bangladesh amongst dozens of markets the place Free Basics is operational.

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Several nations lately have balked at zero score preparations — although they’ve typically cited completely different causes. India banned Free Basics in early 2016 on the grounds that Facebook’s initiative was violating the ideas of web neutrality.

Free Basics additionally ended its program in Myanmar and several other different markets in 2017 and 2018. Facebook didn’t reply to requests for remark.


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