Despite sever backlash over Internet.org going against the concept of net neutrality, Facebook is psuhing its this initiative further. And to do that, Facebook is marking Internet.org’s 1st anniversary by opening up a dedicated portal which allows any mobile network to sign up for service.
Facebook’s Internet.org, launched a year ago, to provide access to basic websites at no cost by partnering up with local mobile operators, thus passing the service to the customers bound to that mobile operator. Earlier this service was limited to few mobile operators only, which has now been opened up to nearly every mobile operator across the globe.
As we approach year two, we’ve taken everything we’ve learned from working closely with our partners and are now ready to scale Internet.org free basic services. We’ve made it easier for any mobile operator to turn on Internet.org in new countries through a partner portal that includes technical tools and best practices, improving the process to offer free basic services to the unconnected.
The company has always been articulating that Internet.org was launched with a purpose to aid people in developing nations and conceive a connected world. However, it has been facing hard winds from all directions, with competitors and some authorities alleging that the service is in stark violation to net neutrality and has been put in place to benefit Facebook and its carrier partners, rather than consumers.
Above all, Internet.org attracted an unwanted nationwide popularity in India, with authorities and competitors simply discouraging the basic concept of this service.
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 gate-keeping roles should be discouraged.
In response, Mark Zuckerberg announced Internet.org as a platform and said that it would be open to all developers who meet certain guidelines, including content that can be browsed on both feature and smart phones and on limited bandwidth.
Now, Facebook has decided to stay put to its arguments and has scaled up its service, with the new portal available globally and inviting all the mobile operators across the world. The social giant is also offering technical tools along with best practices to get new partners started.