Facebook Free Basics Lose To Net Neutrality
The moment TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) made an announcement that the absence of net neutrality or charging differential money for getting access to the online content or what is known as would be deemed as illegal and would be any violation would call for a fine of Rs 50 lakh, too many people who had fought for the cause were happy and satisfied that their fight didn’t go a waste.
Few months before the TRAI’s verdict on net neutrality, a small group of free thinkers had turned anti crusaders, determined to stop Mark Zuckerberg from bringing Free Basics to India. For Facebook, the stakes were really high, too high that they allegedly spent nearly 300 crores of media campaigning in India. With just one fourth of Indian people having access to web, Facebook thought it would be profitable to monetize the content.
That is when the like-minded individuals got together to put up a fight for net neutrality against Zuckerberg’s Free Basics. According to them, Zuckerberg was doing the wrong thing and hence they came together on Slack, which is an application for team-work that is cloud-based. This group had a lot of professionals from law, media and technology.
The path to victory, to the establishment of net neutrality, did cost few of these individuals in a substantial manner. Few people witnessed their Whatsapp getting disconnected for a lifetime. Later they were said it inadvertently happened and was restored. Whatsapp is owned by Facebook and is a messenger.
Zuckerberg and team were listening about the net neutrality but never stepped forward to change their stance. They showed interest only about why people were opposing Free Basics but did nothing to change it.
Free Basics, according to Kothandaraman, who is a Bangalore based techie, has been a disaster from the very beginning. He says that just because they got the Prime Minister into their headquarters doesn’t mean that Indian people can be pushed to Free Basics.
For a lot of people, the fight wasn’t directly with the Free Basics but with the differential charging for viewing online content. Most of the people who took part in fighting against this and supposrting net neutrality, agree that only a battle has been won and not the war. They surmise Facebook would get back with best of the lawyers to fight out the case.