What is internet.org ? Why it is against net neutrality?
Internet.org is a partnership between Facebook and seven mobile phone companies which are Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Microsoft, Opera Software, Reliance and Qualcomm that aims to bring affordable Internet access to everybody. They want to do this by bringing in few new business models around the provision of Internet access.
It is launched in India on 10 February 2015 along with Reliance Communications. Facebook or the group partners with the telcos in particular countries to make the service available to end users. It is not internet access like you sign up with telco for a paid plan but it is a abridged version of the internet access limited to few sites which the group or the telco may deem fit and of course no questions on this that people who sign up for internet.org can access the Facebook and partner company services.
Try going to the site internet.org and it clearly says you need a reliance connection to access the site. Congratulations the first step to control the internet is taken up by reliance and Facebook. Below is the screen grab from the site.
So in plain simple language Internet.org is Facebook’s idea of offering free internet for accessing apps and services which have partnered with Facebook and the Telco in that particular country.
So why this is against net neutrality
This is Facebook initiative so it is understood that this will leave Google, Twitter, G+ and host of other social networks inaccessible. The group will decide which sites comes on board basis the partnerships in the particular geography or country.
At the moment only a host of sites are accessible but it leaves behind all the huge chunk of smaller players in the market.
So if you are a startup or small internet company your services will not be accessible to all the consumers of the telco unless you decide to jump the bandwagon. Now there can be possible restrictions like if your site rank is not good enough on Alexa you shall be left out. A few people will decide who will come on board and who will not.
This is not all, now if you want to access a particular service on the particular website you may be charged separately for it. The very concept of control at the hand of the internet provider kills the freedom of the internet. Imagine if you can access you tube but can’t play a video you like since you will need to pay for it. Does that sound good? Absolutely no.
So here is what you can do, rise up and join the movement at savetheinternet.in
About the Author: The author is a telecom specialist and startup consultant. Follow him on twitter @mishchandan
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