New Delhi : Finding itself on the wrong side of Net Neutrality debate, Facebook made its Internet.org platform open to all content and application developers who meet “certain guidelines”.
However, Reliance Communications remains the only Indian telecom partner as of now on this platform, which has seen entities like Cleartrip and NDTV walking out.
“The platform will be open to all developers who meet certain guidelines, including content that can be browsed on both feature and smartphones and on limited bandwidth,” Internet.org Vice President Product Chris Daniels told PTI.
The move comes amid raging debate in the country on Net Neutrality, which stands for equal treatment to be accorded to all Internet traffic.
The principle states that no priority would be given to an entity or company based on payment to service providers like telecom companies, which is seen as discriminatory.
The debate in India has also been triggered by mobile operator Airtel introducing an open marketing platform ‘Airtel Zero’, and TRAI’s consultation paper on whether telecom firms can be allowed to charge different rates for different uses of Internet data like email, Internet browsing and use of apps like Whatsapp, Viber and Sky. In India, Internet.org had partnered with Reliance Communications in February this year to provide free Internet access to 33 websites as part of its Internet.org initiative raised eyebrows, with free Internet supporters saying that it violates the idea of Net Neutrality.
This led to partners like Cleartrip to walk out of the initiative.