It’s just been months after Facebook got disapproval after violating net neutrality with Free Basics. Social media giant Facebook are now testing a new model (way) to provide quality internet access in rural parts of the country.
‘Express Wifi’ is live in India and it is working with carriers, internet service providers and local entrepreneurs to help expand connectivity to underserved locations around the world and it is expanding to other regions soon.
Well, it is still unclear whether Facebook will limit the access to a few websites (like its Free Basics) or the other way.
This service will be helpful for those in needs and will also empower the locals to grow the online based market as India is leaning towards a cashless society. Not only Express WiFi, Facebook is also experimenting with their other products such as laser drones to enhance internet connectivity for users across the world and so on.
When BGR contacted, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed that the company is currently working with ISPs to test Express WiFi with public deployments in many pilot sites. But the locations, names of the partners (ISP’s) is yet unknown.
Express Wi-Fi customers could purchase fast, reliable and affordable data packs via digital vouchers to access the Internet on the Express Wi-Fi network. We focus on building a sustainable economic model for all stakeholders involved, so that local retailer entrepreneurs, ISPs, operators and Facebook can continue to invest in and operate lasting connectivity. We believe a sustainable economic model is the one which can scale to bring all of India online.
Launched in 2014, Facebook continues to run the program across many countries including India. The service was launched in India in partnership with Reliance Communications as internet.org (Free Basics). But Facebook violated the principle of net neutrality which consequences towards the abolishment of Free Basics. Now, Facebook is up again and only time will tell how this project goes.