Even as Reliance Communications was ordered by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to close down the service associated with the Free Basics campaign by Facebook, the social network seemed to have not lent its ears. The Free Basics campaign is a program initiated by Facebook that gives free access to few of the web-based services. The seemingly overt battle between Facebook and net neutrality shows a powerful comeback with the elaborate messages, hoardings and newspaper-ads.
Egypt has shown its preference clearly. The Free Basics program has been closed down in the country. This really comes as a tough blow to the social network just following the harsh order from TRAI, an Indian organization, to close down the program in the country. According to reports, Facebook did not comply with the required permit. The officials have also made it clear that the shutting down of the program has nothing to do with security issues. Whatever the reason be, the Free Basics program stands closed in Egypt and that is enough a blow to the Zuckerberg-ian network!
It started once again just as TRAI called for a public debate on net neutrality until 31st Dec’ 2015. The organization asked for individual opinions on whether the telecom operators should be given the liberty to fix different rates for different apps, platforms, and websites. Until recently, there were reports about Reliance Communications not paying heed to TRAI’s order and continuing with offering the Free Basics services to subscribers on their websites.
There has been enough turmoil as Facebook initiated its Save Free Basics campaign, where the social network asked its users to send individual emails to TRAI to save the Free Basics. The Facebook users received messages and notifications about the same. On the contrary, Egypt never said ‘No’ to Free Basics in the first place. In fact, Free Basics was quite much available on telecom Etisalat in the country.
Facebook has launched Free Basics in 37 countries. The motive, as shown by the social network is to help the entrepreneurs and economies get a good online presence. However, the move has been strongly criticized as the Free Basics program apparently violates the net neutrality while questioning Facebook’s motives too as the social network along with the Facebook Messenger are included in the program.