IN­DIA RE­JECTS FREE BA­SICS

Qatar Today - - AFFAIRS > GREEN SCENE -

The Telecom Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity of In­dia (TRAI) ruled that ser­vices like Face­book's Free Ba­sics in­fringe on net neu­tral­ity, so ser­vice providers are pro­hib­ited from par­tic­i­pat­ing in such pro­grammes.

While the an­nounce­ment does not specif­i­cally call out Face­book or Free Ba­sics, the so­cial net­work's pro­gramme has been un­der fire in the re­gion. “While for­mu­lat­ing the reg­u­la­tions, the au­thor­ity has largely been guided by the prin­ci­ples of net neu­tral­ity seek­ing to en­sure that con­sumers get un­hin­dered and non-dis­crim­i­na­tory ac­cess to the In­ter­net,” TRAI said to­day. “The reg­u­la­tions in­tend to make data tar­iffs for ac­cess to the In­ter­net to be con­tent-ag­nos­tic.” “Our goal with Free Ba­sics is to bring more peo­ple on­line with an open, non-ex­clu­sive and free plat­form,” said Face­book in a state­ment. “While dis­ap­pointed with the out­come, we will con­tinue our ef­forts to elim­i­nate bar­ri­ers and give the un­con­nected an eas­ier path to the in­ter­net and the op­por­tu­ni­ties it brings.”

Google Trans­late added 13 lan­guages re­cently, bring­ing its to­tal to 103 tongues that cover 99% of the on­line pop­u­la­tion. So if you speak Amharic, Cor­si­can, Frisian, Kyr­gyz, Hawai­ian, or Kur­dish (Kur­manji), or want to com­mu­ni­cate with some­one in Lux­em­bour­gish, Samoan, Scots Gaelic, Shona, Sindhi, Pashto, or Xhosa, Google's got you cov­ered. “The 13 new lan­guages help bring a com­bined 120 mil­lion new peo­ple to the bil­lions who can al­ready com­mu­ni­cate with Trans­late all over the world,” Sveta Kel­man, se­nior pro­gram man­ager for Google Trans­late, wrote in a blog post.

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