It has been some months since Internet.org has been launched by Mark Zuckerberg in India. The main aim is to bring internet access to people needing it. Already, people have raised concerns against it stating that it is against the idea of net neutrality that it has been promoted.
In a post on Facebook, Mark defended the portal and stated that he created it so that the entire world can be connected. For doing that, this initiative is partnering with mobile operators and governments in various countries, so that free access can be offered to basic internet services in local language. This is being done because online access cannot be afforded by everyone. Those who don’t have access will get a lot of benefit from it.
Now that this portal is present in 9 countries, there are around 800 million people who have got access to it. In India Reliance Communications is the way through which millions of people in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala and Telangana can enjoy this same. There are concerns over the portal for using the zero-rating concept through which there is discrimination against users thus leading to impendence of net neutrality.
Zuckerberg reiterates by saying that this portal is committed to net neutrality and adds up that the connections are opened up to more people. He further adds that “To give more people access to the Internet, it is useful to offer some service for free. If someone can’t afford to pay for connectivity, it is always better to have some access than none at all,”
Mark Zuckerberg stated that Internet.org is an ordinary free service and is not a distorting one with respect to net neutrality. Also, he mentioned,
“We fully support net neutrality,” Universal connectivity and net neutrality can and must co-exist. However, Facebook maintains that Internet.org is free to use for publishers and app providers. We’re open for all mobile operators and we’re not stopping anyone from joining. We want as many Internet providers to join so as many people as possible can be connected.”
In the meanwhile, Hindustan times from India wrote that,
“Zuckerberg’s ambitious project to confuse hundreds of millions of emerging market users into thinking that Facebook and the internet are one and the same.”
In competition with Mark Zuckerberg, India’s top mobile network operator, Bharathi Airtel mentioned that it has also started a zero-rating services on Airtel, that allows the users to use particular apps for free of cost. The service provider will handle the data charges for that particular application.
For proving that the portal is not against net neutrality, Mark gave explanation that it doesn’t block or throttle other services.