India bans Facebook’s Free Basics service
Facebook’s free-yet-limited Free Basics app is now banned in India along with other similar zero-rated internet services. This is after India’s telecoms regulator ruled that those program and services defy the notion of net neutrality.
The decision comes after a year of battle between Facebook and net neutrality advocated in India. Last December, Free Basics is already blocked temporarily while awaiting the current ruling. Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg is, of course, disappointed about it and expressed his reaction over a Facebook post.
Connecting India is an important goal we won’t give up on, because more than a billion people in India don’t have access to the internet. We know that connecting them can help lift people out of poverty, create millions of jobs and spread education opportunities. We care about these people, and that’s why we’re so committed to connecting them.
In the Philippines, Free Basics is currently enjoyed by many through a partnership with Smart, Sun, and Globe. Filipinos can access several news websites, weather updates, job listings, entertainment portals, messaging, and more for with any cost through Free Basics app on Android. The said service is part of the Internet.org program aimed to connect the world through the use of the Internet.