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Net Neutrality VS Free Basics

What was introduced as was renamed as Free Basics and presented to the internet users of the country at such large scale that it was difficult for them to look through what Facebook was really driving them to.

At this juncture, when the burning topic among the people of the country is the debate between supporters of Free Basics and Net Neutrality, it would be important to look elaborately into what the two concepts are offering, and which one would be better for us.

With Free Basics, Facebook and its partner websites claim to offer free access to their services to people who can’t afford internet. Though this scheme looks like a social service on the face of it, it isn’t. Free basics would also make internet access differential and selective as users will have access to only those websites that they pay for.

Net neutrality, on the other hand, basically roots for an unbiased and equal internet facility to be provided to everyone across the country without any discrimination, as is the situation right now.

This means that if Free Basics is introduced in India, instead of activating your regular idea mobile recharge plans from BillBachao mobile app every month, you’ll have to pay for a separate WhatsApp pack, Facebook pack and so on, which will be expensive even with all the offers in online recharge BillBachao provides you.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, as a step to seek public opinion on the matter, issued a consultation paper on differential pricing as is being suggested by Facebook through Free Basics under which they called for suggestions regarding the same.

As a result, Facebook, who had already seen the power of united India when it came to fighting against the initiative, launched a movement asking its users to send e-mails to TRAI urging them to launch Free Basics in the country. And as a defence against this, the “Save the Internet” counter movement was launched by the public sending contrary emails urging TRAI to stick with net neutrality. While the “informed” part of the public tried their best to spread awareness as to why they should not support Free Basics by sending the pre-drafted email Facebook was providing them, Facebook was busy advertising their move showing it in a very positive light all over the social media, print media and electronic media.

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