Facebook Opens up Internet.org to all Mobile Operators
A year after the creation of Internet.org, Facebook is announcing a dedicated portal to allow any mobile operator to offer free Internet access to basic online services. Internet.org first launched in Africa, is now available in 17 countries, but only with very select mobile operators.
Facebook is attempting to court operators by stating that “Internet.org brings new users onto mobile networks on average over 50 percent faster after launching free basic services, and more than half … are paying for data and accessing the internet within the first 30 days.”
There is, of course, resistance to Facebook’s moves, with allegations of net neutrality being compromised. A committee of the telecoms ministry set up to examine the issue of net neutrality earlier this month recommended that collaborations between mobile operators and content providers that enable ‘gatekeeping’ roles should be discouraged.
A number of technology and Internet firms pulled out of the service this year after activists claimed that it violated principles of a neutral Internet.