Do we really understand Free Basics by Facebook?

For the last few days, we have been seeing huge advertisements by Facebook in India’s leading newspapers on Digital Equality, stating it as a first step to connect one billion Indians through a campaign called Free Basics.

Free Basics ad by Facebbok
Free Basics by Facebook: Two page ad on TOI

What is Free Basics?

Lately, you must have been getting a lot of notifications stating, “your friend just sent a letter to TRAI supporting the free basics campaign of Facebook”. Free basics which intends to provide free internet access to 1 Billion people, who are yet to get the internet access and help them with JOB, Education and various other opportunities online. There are many people supporting this cause but there is another set of people talking a lot about it and definitely that is not so positive. Like any other debate, this one too has another side which Facebook is not highlighting. Facebook is not sharing all the facts related to its campaign and instead making its user to support the campaign through these push notifications. Lets compare both the sides and decide upon on our final decision.

What Facebook has stated in its letter to TRAI…

Free Basics Net Neutrality and Facebook
Facebook letter to TRAI

To achieve this objective, Facebook is inviting Mobile operators to participate and provide free internet on the platform known as So, the sole authority of accepting and rejecting an operator lies with Facebook only. It will create a platform where the content is being controlled by Facebook entirely. There will be a price differential for different content, different websites and even for different Apps.  And this is totally against the ‘Net Neutrality’. All these facts are not mentioned anywhere in the letter. Then, how come a user is able to take the informed decision?

You can watch this Videos to understand the Net Neutrality.

There’s another set of group, referred as small vocal group of critics by Facebook, with different view point. They are fighting for Net Neutrality in India for quite a while.

Lets understand the Free Basics through a video posted by AIB recently. This will give you a new perspective to think about Facebook’s Free Basics from this group’s point of view.

You can also go through the below link and read more about it.

This debate is open on public space till December 30, 2015. It’s better to make an informed decision rather than someone pushing you to do so. Before sending the letter to TRAI, as pushed by Facebook in your notification, read more and take a wise decision.

Posted by LB

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