Understand, what is Free Basics by Facebook? Mark Zuckerberg, the chairman, the chief executive and the co-founder of the social website, Facebook’s steering campaign for the free basic rights by facebook through his internet.org is the most mused topic of the technical world. So what’s all this fuss is about? What is the free basic by the facebook really means?
Free basics formerly called as Internet.org, is a conglomerate between the social networking company Facebook with six other companies viz., Samsung, Ericsson, Mediatek, Opera software, Nokia and Qualcomm. According to Zuckerberg it is an open platform that benefits both the developers and the users of developing countries. It will help the developers to provide their services for free to the innumerable number of people in developing countries who couldn’t afford to access the internet. He claims that it is everyone’s right to get access to the networking world and free basic is the perfect platform to make it come true. He also added that it is the key, for underprivileged people, into the world of health, technology and opportunities.
What is Free Basics by Facebook?
Free Basics obviously works on the Zero-Rating principle, where the users will not be charged for the data they use for specific applications and services.
Earlier, Airtel provided the same service through Airtel Zero. But following an outburst of opposition from the public many companies like Flipkart withdrew itself from Airtel Zero.
It claims to be more transparent and open platform where the app developers can easily add their services. With the change in privacy settings it is wide open for the developers.
Mark Zukerberg invited support from its users through the ‘Send E-mail to TRAI to save “Free basics”’ campaign. He said as high as 3.2 million facebook users have sent signed E-Mail out of 130 million users in support of free basics.
What is This Opposition all about?
On a first note, it may look like a most welcoming initiative but it doesn’t provide equal and non-partisan access to all the services. The main critique against the free basics is that its partnership with the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) will only pave way for the preferential access to selected set of app developers and services. It will affect the developers who don’t join the free basics especially the rivals of facebook. The opposition party says that that internet should be free and equal to all the users. This argument shatters the balance of Net Neutrality.
Net Neutrality and Its Supporters
Net Neutrality means that all the data provided in the internet should be treated equally by the Internet Service Providers (ISP) and the Government without any discrimination in charges by the users, content, site, platform, application or the medium of communication.
Partnership with Reliance
The free basics was first launched in collaboration with the Reliance communications in February which was accessible through “Freenet” button in the mobile phones. Initially it was started with access to 33 websites across the states of Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Kerala and Goa. It later on increased to 80 websites. But after the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of India intervened to stop the services till there is a prior decision on the issue, it has suspended its services temporarily from Wednesday.
TRAI has been receiving comments about the differential pricing and discounted services by the developers. They have decided to welcome the comment till today (DEC 31) before jumping into conclusions on this free basics issue.
This gives you a better understanding about what is free basics by facebook, before proceeding with your support or defence.