Facebook’s Controversial Free Basics Comes to Nigeria Via Airtel
Free Basics, part of the company’s internet.org initiative, claims to bring unconnected users online by providing no cost access to a set of internet content, and is now live in 40 countries, said Zuckerberg in a blog post, with half of those in Africa.
The initiative will be available to all Nigerians with an Airtel mobile connection, providing access to 90 million people currently offline, with the opportunity to access news, health information and other services without having to pay data fees.
The service will initially launch with more than 85 free services.
“Over the next few months, we’ll be doing even more to connect developers with people who can use their apps – and partner with local companies to bring internet to people across Africa who don’t have access to mobile networks,” added Zuckerberg.
Facebook’s initiative has attracted controversy in some markets, with critics accusing the company of going against net neutrality by giving preferential treatment to certain web services.
The company claims Free Basics has brought more than 25 million people online who wouldn’t be otherwise.MobileWorldLive.com