Mark Zuckerberg’s bid to connect the unconnected via Internet.org is already facing its first major roadblock – not from cellcos, but from internet companies and activist groups who claim Internet.org’s business model violates net neutrality principles and creates a walled garden of content for poor people rather than the “real” internet. The latest flashpoint is India, where Internet.org has partnered with Reliance and Bharti Airtel to offer free internet access to specific apps for free, with the data usage subsidized by apps developers.
Facebook, in collaboration with local partner Telenor, announced today that Internet.org is available for users in Pakistan. The initiative is part of a campaign to make the internet accessible and affordable to the two-thirds of the world that remain offline. Mobile users from Pakistan will now have free access to an array of services, including health, education, finance, news, and jobs. Some of the sites included in the initiative are ESPN Cricinfo, BBC,Accuweather, OLX, and UNICEF Facts for Life.
DELHI| BENGALURU: Google has put on hold plans to provide free data to end users in India by zero rating certain apps, due to recent public backlash against a similar initiative by Facebook and Airtel, two people familiar with the development said. The internet giant, which was in early discussions with telecom operators and applications developers to launch a zero rating platform, has now decided to take a wait and watch approach, they said. “Google has shelved the idea of any kind of zero-rating tie-up because they are very scared of the backlash which came up against (Facebook’s) Internet.org in India,” said one of them.
NEW DELHI: Airtel’s Zero Rating platform and the Facebook-Reliance Communications combine’s internet.org plan have been found to be against the spirit of net neutrality by a preliminary inquiry conducted by the telecom ministry. The findings assume significance as they come at a time when a high-level committee of the ministry is finalizing a regulatory set-up for various issues related to net neutrality. Also, the committee will define how telecom operators are to deal with numerous internet websites, or over-the-top (OTT) players, who ride on their network.
NEW DELHI: Facebook’s billionaire co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is pulling all stops to swing opinion in India in favour of Internet.org, even as he explores alternatives to subsidize access to certain internet services including Facebook. Zuckerberg in recent weeks initiated dialogues with key people in India’s startup and technology world to convince them of the virtue of Internet.org, a partnership stitched by the social networking giant that allows certain services including Facebook to be provided free of data charge to users.
NEW DELHI: In another bid to promote its Internet.org platform in India, social networking titan Facebook is running a campaign – on users’ timelines. The new campaign, started earlier this week, aims to make the social network’s users believe that the Internet.org platform is actually ‘free internet.’ However, Internet.org has been widely panned as being against the principles of net neutrality as it allows users to access only websites that have signed up for the platform, while blocking access to those that did not join the Facebook initiative.
NEW DELHI: National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), a body under the IT Ministry, today said it strongly supports Net Neutrality and any move by telecom operators to selectively bundle the services will go against the basic concept of internet. NIXI coordinates with internet service providers on issues related to IP or computer addresses. “National Internet Exchange of India as the neutral exchange in the country, strongly supports Neutrality of the internet which is the only way forward to make the Internet open, free and innovative. “Any move by Telcos to bundle application or content selectively will hamper the very basic concept of internet,” NIXI said in a statement.
Internet.org, the app initiated by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg that allows people to access certain online content for free, launched in Indonesia just a few days ago in partnership with Indosat. So far it seems as if Internet.org has had a smooth start in Indonesia, and is not struggling with the huge backlash it’s getting in India. In India, some media outlets and internet firms that had initially been part of the Internet.org initiative decided to step out due to concerns about violating net neutrality with the app’s limited, curated selection of accessible sites.
On April 17, through a Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg declared to the world that Facebook’s Internet.org app is now available in Indonesia, in collaboration with mobile phone carrier Indosat. Internet.org is an app which offers a suite of useful services – including Facebook – to users without charging for data transfer. In India, the app has caused some controversy. A number of members of India’s startup community, including investors and founders, came out against the initiative.
MUMBAI: A group of India’s leading technology and internet firms has pulled out of Internet.org, Facebook’s flagship effort to get billions more online, in a growing debate over free access and internet neutrality in the country. Net neutrality is the concept that all websites on the internet are treated equally. The debate over access and neutrality has grabbed headlines in India this week after leading telecom carrier Bharti Airtel announced a product through which mobile ‘app’ makers pay for data usage to allow customers to use their apps for free.
Facebook’s Internet.org initiative, which offers free access to a selection of internet services, has met severe resistance from digital firms in India. Initially, about 40 services had signed up for the initiative but most of them later abandoned the service and favoured net neutrality. Mark Zuckerberg today fought back in a statement on his Facebook page saying that net neutrality is not in conflict with working to get more people connected.
Mark Zuckerberg today announced the launch of the Internet.org service in Indonesia on his official Facebook account. Indonesia had been a pilot country for this program last October, which attempts to make it easier for people in countries which still lag behind in terms of internet penetration to access the web. In this pilot, Facebook was working together with operators and developers to find ways to make transfer of data more efficient.
NEW YORK: “Disagreeing” with critics of the zero-rating concept, which allows Facebook-led initiative Internet.org to deliver free basic internet services in several countries including India, its founder Mark Zuckerberg today said universal connectivity and net neutrality “can and must” coexist. Zuckerberg’s comments come amid a raging debate that such plans lead to violation of the principle of Net neutrality in India, with partners in his dream initiative Internet.org leaving the portal.
MANILA, Philippines – Subscribers of Talk ‘N Text, Smart, and Sun Cellular can now access a suite of mobile Internet services for free through Facebook’s Internet.org app, which made its Southeast Asian debut in the Philippines last Wednesday. Subscribers with a data-capable device can access Facebook, Facebook Messenger plus 22 other websites — providing news, health, weather, and other services – by downloading the Internet.org application on Google Play or visiting http://www.Internet.org on their mobile browser. They can get more information by texting INTERNET to 9999.
After rolling out the service in six countries since 2014, Facebook today announced the availability of the Internet.org app for millions of people in the Philippines. The app provides mobile phone users free access to basic internet services related to education, health, employment, communication, and information and news. This means Filipinos will now be able to browse Wikipedia for information, read the Inquirer for news updates, check the weather using Accuweather, look for jobs on Jobstreet, chat with friends on Facebook and more – without data charges. However, it’s limited to a bunch of curated sites that Facebook has chosen.
BARCELONA: Taking on social networking giant Facebook’s ambitious ‘free internet’ plans, telecom major Bharti Airtel chief Sunil Mittal has said the companies should do ‘philanthropy’ if they stop charging for mobile internet. Facebook has launched an ‘internet.org’ initiative under which users can access internet free of charge for select websites if they come through a partner telecom operator.
We just launched Internet.org in India — giving people in six Indian states access to free basic internet services for health, education, jobs and communication. Over the last year we’ve rolled out Internet.org free basic services to countries with more than 150 million people total across Africa and Latin America. More than 6 million people are already connected to the internet who previously weren’t, and we’ve started hearing incredible stories about how the internet is changing lives and communities.
MUMBAI: Facebook is set to launch internet.org, an initiative to provide internet access to those who don’t have it, in India through a tie-up with Reliance Communications, two people familiar with the development said. The social media giant and India’s fourth largest mobile operator have called a joint press conference in Mumbai on Tuesday for, what the invite says, “one launch that will make a billion dreams take off”.
NEW DELHI: Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the firm would create and launch a mobile application devoted to Clean India, during a conversation where they discussed the PM’s pet projects such as Digital India and his hopes to use the networking site’s use for social causes and prevent its misuse by terror outfits. Zuckerberg told the Prime Minister that he is extremely excited about the government’s Digital India initiative. Modi, a prolific user of social media platforms with nearly 7 million followers on Twitter and around 23 million people following him on Facebook, has asked Zuckerberg to identify domains of the program that it can get involved in and work with the government.
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg kicked off his India visit today with a startling stat: 69 percent of Indians have no clue how the internet can help them. Zuckerberg shared this stark evidence of a digital divide during an address at the Internet.org Summit in New Delhi. Internet.org was founded by Facebook, Samsung, and several other groups, with a mission to bring internet access to under-served regions and people. As part of this initiative, Zuckerberg today launched a US$1 million fund for apps in numerous Indian languages for farmers and various social services. Internet.org will conduct a contest to pick the apps to back.