Bangladesh regulator orders telcos to cease offering free entry to social media – TechCrunch

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

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Fee, the native regulator, stated late final week that it had moved to take this determination as a result of free utilization of social media providers had spurred their misuse by some folks to commit crimes. Native outlet Enterprise Commonplace first reported in regards to the growth. Bangladesh is without doubt one of the largest web markets in Asia with greater than 100 million on-line customers.

Expertise firms corresponding to Facebook and Twitter have struck partnerships, more popularly known as zero rating deals, with telecom operators and other internet providers in a number of markets prior to now decade to make their providers free to customers to speed up development. Sometimes, tech firms bankroll the price of knowledge consumption of customers as a part of these offers.

In Bangladesh, such zero ranking offers have been well-liked for a number of years, stated Ahad, chief government 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 providers of their companions even when their telephones have run out of credit score. Each telecom corporations have stated they’re within the course of to adjust to Dhaka’s order.

It stays unclear whether or not Free Fundamentals, a program run by Fb in dozens of markets by which it presents limitless entry to pick providers for gratis, will proceed its presence in Bangladesh after the nation’s order. Fb depends on telecom networks to supply knowledge entry for its Free Fundamentals program.

In Bangladesh, Fb struck offers with Grameenphone and Robi Axiata, based on its official website, the place Fb continues to determine Bangladesh amongst dozens of markets the place Free Fundamentals is operational.

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

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

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