We all have seen the hoardings and ads which are all over the cities and printed on the first pages of newspapers. With the free Internet Service by Facebook banned from India, some people seem to be confused about what Facebook is trying to do. The government has put the Free Basics initiative on hold. From the beginning Free Basics a.k.a Internet.org internet enthusiasts and advocates felt it violated ‘net neutrality’.
Most of us are well aware of the term net neutrality. But if you were living under a rock for all this time, it is the concept of providing all the services on the World Wide Web the same chance by treating the incoming traffic equally.
What Free Basics provides is with preselected services for news, entertainment, and infotainment, which Reliance provides in India is a total of 38 sites. So you’ll ask what’s wrong? It has to be stressed that whenever an Indian hears the word “free”, he thinks of the opportunity that he/she has to grab. That exactly is the problem. When you accept this, the other competing sites or services have zero chance for their monopoly. These are few things to ponder. A post on Linkedin Pulse by Mahesh Murthy explained what will happen if Free Basics was allowed in India with its current situation:
What Facebook wants is our less fortunate brothers and sisters should be able to poke each other and play Candy Crush, but not be able to look up a fact on Google, or learn something on Khan Academy or sell their produce on a commodity market or even search for a job on Naukri.
Reliance is the only carrier in India which is providing the Free Basics service. It was put on hold by TRAI until it is checked thoroughly. Facebook has also collaborated with other carriers in various countries in South Africa, also in Middle East, Latin America, and other in Asia Pacific for Free Basics. Facebook is trying its best to force people into writing letter to the TRAI for the approval of Free Basics in India, through Facebook notification, ads in the newspapers and hoardings in the cities all over India.
Right now, nobody wants some carrier or a company to force the Internet as a commodity, which is actually a utility. The good thing about TRAI is it is open to public opinion on whether to introduce these services or not in India. A letter can be written to them via Save The Internet site before 30th December. Few of AIB’s videos explain why is it a threat to the Internet from being free.
AIB’s Save the Internet