Good for the Indian telecoms regulator. It is time someone stood up to Facebook.
It sounds like they would have perhaps gotten more mileage out of just taking legit responses and putting them into the response template.
A little effort goes a long way.
The pseudo-conspiracy response to that is: there were no valid arguments to be made, so they just filled the word count with FUD.
The tone of the regulator seems more than just mildly annoyed. I kind of expected this, because TRAI even in their last round of consultations had specifically called out Internet.org as obnoxious. It appears that Zuckerberg’s little hug with Modi prompted a second consultation paper specifically tailored for him, which the babus at TRAI would have rather not done in the first place. FB seems to have used a back door to create a chance for themselves, which they then blew with their high-handed astroturfing.
Several people including me wrote in to TRAI to complain about this misleading campaign of FB’s. I think this had its effect.
However, TRAI is still thinking about whether zero rating can be done “safely” - they’re just ignoring FB’s spam while doing it. We still have a long way to go.
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