Friday, December 25, 2015

FreeBasics and Net Neutrality

Welcome to the Real-Internet dot Org!

This is a (hypothetical) program to connect the next billion human beings and achieving Digital Equality for all.

Our Beliefs

  • We believe Internet access to every individual on this planet will enable the poor/unconnected easy access to communication, education, healthcare and jobs
  • We also believe in Net Neutrality

How does it work?

Join the Internet Platform by creating your app or website that can be accessed from anywhere on the Internet. Just like thousands for other websites. If you already have a site, you are already on!
  • We don’t approve your apps or site. Its your stuff, you do what you have to do
  • We won’t enforce that you adhere to our guidelines (since our guidelines may change from time to time)
  • We don’t act as a proxy for all user accesses performed using the Internet platform
  • We won’t lobby to permit differential pricing by telecom providers in your country


Site Developers

If you have adapted your site to be easily viewed from feature phones, please let us know. We will include your site in a list of sites that are feature-phone compatible.

Mobile Operators

Please engage with us for participating in the biggest program connecting the unconnected. Steps:
  • Allow certain bandwidth free of cost to all your subscribers. For starters, exactly the same bandwidth that you might allow users.
  • Allow your subscribers to access any content that is legally allowed.
  • Provide small-enough incremental bandwidth steps that subscribers can pay for, if they spill over. Over 50% of people who use free internet pay for data and access the broader internet within 30 days (Source:
  • Scrap zero-rating or differential pricing.
Take the red pill!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Your program isn’t doing shit, how does this benefit Internet adoption for the poor?
  • Ok let’s say we (a) start acting as a proxy, and (b) start enforcing guidelines for participating app/sites. You think these 2 changes benefit the purpose? What gives?

Note: Instead of simply mocking or opposing the original idea, this is an attempt to create a proposal for an alternative solution (lets call it “real internet”) that has the plus points (connectivity to all) without the negative points (anti-Net Neutrality stance). And then check if it is equally appealing.
As it appears all it needs is commitment from telecom operators (even with FreeBasics), the rest is already available and it is called “Internet” (Duh!).
FreeBasics did bring the topic of poor-connectivity to the fore giving it a lot of attention, but the way of implementing it is not right.