Social networking giant Facebook has expanded its controversial ‘Free Basics’ initiative pan-India to offer basic internet access with its telecom partner Reliance Communications (RCom).
In February, the app was made available in India for Reliance customers in six states –Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra AP, Gujarat, Kerala, and Telangana. However, with the recent announcement, Reliance customers all across the country will now have access to Free Basics.
“We just took another step towards connecting India. As of today, everyone in India nationwide can access free internet services for health, education, jobs and communication through internet.org ‘s Free Basics app on the Reliance network,” wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post on Monday.
Free Basics, which aims to bring free Internet access to the developing world, has faced some backlash with activists alleging that it violates net neutrality, and the idea that all online traffic should be treated equally.