Home / Daily Report: A Net Neutrality Setback for Facebook in India

Daily Report: A Net Neutrality Setback for Facebook in India



Net neutrality has often sounded unnecessarily complex, but it really comes down to a simple notion: Internet providers should provide equal access to all Internet content.

In the United States, Facebook has been a frequent proponent of net neutrality. But in India, in an odd twist, a Facebook effort to provide free Internet access on Monday was effectively stopped because regulators in that country believe that what the Silicon Valley company is trying to do there violates the concept of net neutrality.

The Facebook, program, called Free Basics, offers access to a limited mobile version of the Facebook social network and sites that provide news and job information and other services. But it ran into trouble with Indian regulators because — in their view — it favored some apps over others. It is being offered in various ways in 38 countries, but India, where Facebook already has more than 132 million users, was considered its biggest potential market.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, lobbied hard for his program, even writing a guest piece in an Indian newspaper. But holding the line on Internet equality appears to have won the day over free.

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