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Research Report: Free Basics in Real Life – “poor internet for poor people” or “offering some web experience”

10 Aug Posted by in kictanet | Comments
“Facebook’s Free Basics program aims to help bridge the digital divide through a mobile-based platform that allows users to connect to a handful of online services free of charge. In a vision statement for the program, Facebook surmises that “[by] introducing people to the benefits of the internet” they will help justify the cost of mobile data and thereby “bring more people online and help improve their lives.” The program has been the subject of controversy since its inception, reviving the debate over open access and the digital divide. Digital rights experts have argued that the program violates network neutrality, brings an imbalance to local content and mobile subscription markets, and creates a “poor internet for poor people” that does not allow users to truly explore and discover the global internet.1 Others have praised it for offering users some degree of experience with the web, and for incentivizing operators to make mobile data more affordable for more customers….”


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