Facebook's Free Basics

Facebook’s Free Basics, previously called Internet.org is in trouble in India as The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has temporarily banned the free basics in India.

Facebook’s Free Basic is an app that allows you to access a set of websites including Facebook for free. TRAI has recently ordered the mobile carriers in India to temporarily suspend the Facebook’s Free Basics Internet Program.

In India Reliance Communications is the only telecom company which provide Free Basics in India, and TRAI has asked the Reliance Communications to temporarily block the Free Basics while they investigates if Free Basics violates Net Neutrality or not?

Facebook’s Free Basics in India

Facebook lunched its Free Basics app in India in February this year. It is a set of dozen of websites that can be accessed for free without any data charges if you are a Reliance user.

But from its launch in India, it has been in trouble because of the issues of violation of Net Neutrality.

How Facebook’s Free Basics violates Net Neutrality

On one hand Facebook’s Free Basics provides the free access to some websites including Facebook on the other hand it also gives advantage to the web services that are included in Facebook’s Free Basics.

It simply means the other websites on the Internet can never compete with the web services included in Free Basics. Let us take example of Facebook, if Facebook’s services are offered for free on the Internet then why would anyone go to the other website? It is simply the violation of the Net Neutrality.

But Facebook is constantly advocating its Free Basics saying it doesn’t violates the Net Neutrality in any way because it doesn’t restricts the other web services that are available on the Internet.

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Facebook’s try to save Free Basics in India

Facebook is doing everything that it can do to save the Free Basics in India as India provides a huge traffic to Facebook (Second in the world after U.S.A) by polling the votes by the Facebook users in India.

You must have encountered a notification on Facebook saying “Act Now to Save Free Basics in India”. It provides you the option to vote for the Free Basics in India by sending an email to TRAI. By sending the email you agree that you support Free Basics in India.

What you should do?

Supporting Free Basics would be like killing the Internet in India. It can have adverse effects on Internet, it may be possible that the Internet pack rates would hike to the double. You have to pay extra for the other Web Services on the on the Internet. And it almost kills every opportunity for the new start-ups in the field of web services to set up in the market. I think you may now decide what you should do? If not? A big NO from my side.

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