India Is Against Facebook’s Free Basics
India is not in favour of Facebook’s free basics as it undermines the principle of net neutrality, the idea of all Internet traffic being treated equally.
As emphasised by Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the Times of India, “In every society, there are certain basic services that are so important for people’s well-being that we expect everyone to be able to access them freely”.
There are just 252 million people out of India’s 1.3 billion people who have Internet access. This makes India an attractive market for firms like Google and Facebook. As per India´s telecommunications regulator, there were record submissions received by them on a consultation paper for framing differential pricing rules for deciding the future of Facebook Inc´s free Internet in India.
There was a protest by more than a hundred persons comprising mostly of students, IT professionals and academicians outside Forum Mall in Koramangala on Saturday. They held a protest against Facebook’s Free Basics. They voiced their opinion asking what could be the reason behind denying people free access to vital services for communication, education, healthcare, employment, farming and women’s rights. In lieu of welcoming Free Basics as an open platform which can tie up with any telco allowing any developer to offer services to people for free, it is claimed that it will provide people less choice.