Free Basics is no longer available to people in India: Facebook

Free Basics is no longer available to people in India: Facebook

After a persistent debate on Free Basics,Silicon Valley investor and member of the Board of Directors at Facebook, Marc Andreessen criticised India’s opposition to Facebook’s offering. He went to the extent of comparing the opposition to anti-colonialism which wasn’t taken too well by Indian netizens.
The series of tweets and the resulting outrage prompted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to put up a post on his Facebook page dissociating from Andreessen’s views. He termed the comments as ‘deeply upsetting and doesn’t represent the way Facebook or I think at all.’Recently, TRAI had banned the concept of Free Basics, or differentiation by telecom operators on the basis of content. Non-compliance with the announcement could result in a heavy penalty.Given the vast user base in India, the stand taken by TRAI is a significant setback for Facebook, which had changed the internet.org campaign to Free Basics to position it as a noble idea of connecting a billion users around the world who have no access to Internet.
Stiff opposition from activist groups in India and across the globe as well as opposition by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the world wide web resulted in a public debate on the subject. The result was an immediate ban on Free Basics.