I am an avid user of internet and hence, my data plan gets exhausted much before the expiration date. Have you ever dreamt of a day when the internet will be available to us free of cost? I so do always. Not kidding, Facebook is in serious talks with the US officials and wireless carriers about bringing its Free Basics service to millions of people in the US. Connecting people all around the world is one big mission of Facebook and it has moved to another level by bringing in the project of Free Wifi.
The plan created by facebook is to launch a US version of the basic app available in IOS and android where the users would have free access to a limited set of online resources, without their data plans taking a hit. Fundamentally, the idea of Free Basics is to bring free or cheap internet service to underserved communities through its app by enabling, in partnership with wireless providers, access to certain sites and apps without using any of their monthly data allotment.
The company is reportedly moving cautiously on the initiative to avoid the regulatory scrutiny that hindered the project in India. For example, in India the Free basic plan was banned saying that the Net Neutrality was violated. Net neutrality is nothing but the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.
The reports say that Facebook has reached out to a number of lesser-known wireless carriers in the U.S. as potential partners in the initiative, but has avoided telecom giants like T-Mobile and At&T in an effort to avoid any resistance from regulators.
Facebook would face numerous hurdles as and when the project comes into light. Some of the challenge would be the type of content to be offered – “Net Neutrality”and for potentially giving preferential treatment to certain websites. Also there are questions raised about the service remaining free once it is used widespread.
Well, let us keep our fingers crossed and hope to avail free internet services in the near future.
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