Bangladesh’s regulator has ordered telecom operators and other internet providers in the nation to stop providing free access to social media services, becoming the latest market in Asia to take a partial stand against zero-rating deals.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, the local regulator, said late last week that it had moved to take this decision because free usage of social media services had spurred their misuse by some people to commit crimes.
Local outlet Business Standard first reported about the development. Bangladesh is one of the largest internet markets in Asia with more than 100 million online users.
Tech companies like Facebook and Twitter possess struck partnerships, more popularly called zero-rating deals, together with telecom operators and other online providers in many markets in recent years to create their services free for users to accelerate expansion.
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Normally, technology businesses bankroll the price of information intake of users as part of those deals.
In Bangladesh, these zero-rating deals are popular for many decades, said Ahad Mohammad, chief executive of Bongo, an on-demand streaming agency.
Grameenphone and Robi Axiata, a couple of the biggest telecom operators in Bangladesh, empower their cellular subscribers to get a couple of providers of the spouses even if their telephones have run out of credit.
Both telecom companies have stated they’re in the procedure to obey Dhaka’s order.
It remains unclear if Free Basics, a program run by Facebook in dozens of markets where it provides unlimited access to pick services free, will continue its existence in Bangladesh following the country’s order.
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Facebook is based on telecom networks to provide data access because of the Free Basics program.
In Bangladesh, Facebook struck deals with Grameenphone and Robi Axiata, based on its official site, where Facebook proceeds to spot Bangladesh among dozens of niches in which Free Basics is usable.
Several countries in the past several years have balked at zero-rating agreements — they have frequently cited various reasons. India prohibited Free Basics in ancient 2016 about the grounds that Facebook’s initiative was dividing the principles of net neutrality.
Free Basics additionally finished its program from Myanmar and various different markets in 2017 and 2018. Facebook didn’t respond to requests for comment.
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