Facebook has been working hard to spread the power of the Internet across India, connecting more of the country's residents via its free Web Internet.org initiative.

However, that effort has already been slowed. The Times of India is reporting that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked Reliance Communications to temporarily ban the free Web service of Facebook's Free Basics program via its Internet.org initiative.

The country's regulator is looking into whether Facebook's free Internet poses any threat to net neutrality and if phone carriers should be allowed to charge varying prices for different content. In other words, how can Facebook's free Internet service make websites free for some users, while charging others with the price of data?

"Unless that question is answered, it will not be appropriate for us to continue to make that happen," an unnamed government official told the Times of India.

In the meantime, India has asked that Reliance Communications temporarily ban Facebook's Free Basics service.

"As directed by [the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India], the commercial launch of Free Basics has been kept in obeyance, till they consider all details and convey a specific approval," a Reliance spokesperson wrote in a statement to the Verge.

Earlier this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reasoned that it's too expensive to make the entire Internet free but still better to offer some areas of India the Web free of charge rather than none at all.

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