Free Basics offered users access to a specific group of internet sites free of charge. The plan enabled mobile-phone users to access sites, such as Wikipedia, certain news and weather sites and of course Facebook, without it counting against their allotted data. This kind of plan is commonly referred to as “zero rating.”
Offers similar to Free Basics in the United States have been widely criticized. According to opponents, it’s unfair to prioritize some internet services while relegating others to a digital ghetto. “The message is clear: We can’t create a two-tier Internet — one for the haves, and one for the have-nots,” Renata Avila, global campaign manager for the Woldwide Web Foundation, told the BBC.”
Comcast and T-Mobile have been rebuked by net neutrality proponents for offering zero-rating plans.
Facebook representatives said the social network was disappointed by India’s decision. “Our goal with Free Basics is to bring more people online with an open, non-exclusive and free platform,” a Facebook spokeswoman told the BBC. ” We will continue our efforts to eliminate barriers and give the unconnected an easier path to the internet.”