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Facebook comes in defence of Internet.org, to offer cheap Wi-Fi in India

  • Facebook has
    strongly defended its free internet platform Internet.org in face of criticism
    from an Indian government panel, and said it is also looking to launch a
    special, inexpensive Wi-Fi service in India.
  •  
    • Facebook has
      strongly defended its free internet platform Internet.org in face of criticism
      from an Indian government panel, and said it is also looking to launch a
      special, inexpensive Wi-Fi service in India.
    •  

    •  
    •  “When users purchase Internet access,
      they should be able to go where they want to, and that concept of net
      neutrality rules in context of operators who originally wanted to sell
      different tiers of speeds to consumers, so that certain services can be
      accessed on a faster basis,” Facebook Vice-President for Mobile and Global
      Access Policy, Kevin Martin said at a recent event.
    •  
    • A government
      panel in India has criticised this kind of platform, saying it can act as a
      gatekeeper and should not be allowed. However, Facebook said it is a gateway to
      access the internet, and not a gatekeeper.
    •  
    • Martin said
      Facebook supports the concept of net neutrality, and its programme Internet.org
      is to enable people to realise the importance of internet by providing access
      to basic web service free of data cost.
    •  
    • Through
      Internet.org, mobile users can access websites available on the platform for
      free. Even websites are not required to pay any charge for coming on to the
      platform, but need to follow certain technical criteria for joining it, he
      said. Additionally, neither Facebook nor other websites are required to pay for
      internet usage by end users.
    •  
    • Facebook is
      looking forward to launching a special Wi-Fi service in India, which will help
      subsidise the cost of accessing internet, Martin said.
    •  
    • “We
      also have our connectivity lab which is looking at drones and unmanned aerial
      vehicle to lower the cost of service to people without infrastructure. We are
      rolling out a kind of Wi-Fi service at a lower cost, which is trying to adjust
      cost issue in other countries and looking out to do that in India,” he said.
    •  
    • “The
      only limitation for any developer to participate (in Internet.org) is that it
      has to be structured so that it uses a limited amount of bandwidth,”
      Martin said, adding Facebook also has different set up for its own service that
      it provides through Internet.org.

     

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