Internet.org makes enrolment open and free, subject to riders

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Published: May 5, 2015 12:41:24 AM

Accused of breaking net neutrality norms via Internet.org, social media giant Facebook on Monday announced that it has made enrolment open and free for all developers.

Accused of breaking net neutrality norms via Internet.org, social media giant Facebook on Monday announced that it has made enrollment open and free for all developers.

“Our goal with Internet.org is to work with as many developers and entrepreneurs as possible to extend the benefits of connectivity to diverse, local communities. To do this, we’re going to offer services through Internet.org in a way that’s more transparent and inclusive,” said a statement from Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder, Facebook, had come to India last year to launch Internet.org in partnership with Reliance — an ambitious project to offer free internet access to people.

Facebook lost a number of partners last month who withdrew from Internet.org following the debate over ‘zero rating’. With this new initiative, Facebook is letting all the developers, instead of a few who pay for it, to come on board.

The websites and apps on Internet.org will be light and data efficient for operators to make it free. However, websites that require high-bandwidth will not be included on the platform. Online companies offering services like VoIP, video, file transfer, high resolution photos, or high volume of photos will not be allowed. It also requires online firms to build their portals to be optimised for usage on smart-phone as well as feature phones.

“Because these services have to be specially built to these specifications, we started by offering just a few. But giving people more choice over the services they use is incredibly important and, going forward, people using Internet.org will be able to search for and use services that meet these guidelines,” read the statement.

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