Egypt retrieves Facebooks initiative for limited free internet from the air

Jan

1

2016

Egypt has Facebooks initiative for offering limited free Internet, Free Basics Project, taken off the air. The permit telecom provider Etisalat needs to provide the service is not renewed.

Free Basics began two months ago in Egypt, but the provider of the service, Etisalat, had only a permit for those two months. In an interview with Reuters, the Egyptian Ministry of Telecommunications let know that the license is not renewed. Why it is not renewed is unknown, but Etisalat comes later in the day with a statement.

In a message to AP, a spokesman for Facebook indicated that more than one million people in Egypt had Internet access thanks to the initiative. The folks behind Free Basics are therefore disappointed and hope for a quick solution. They do not give also to why the license is not renewed. Spokesman for the ministry announced that it is in any event not because of security risks. Egypt has called social media in the past blocked during protests.

Free Basics is Facebook’s initiative to bring limited free internet access to people who can not afford Internet. The program is based in internet.org, an initiative to provide Internet to the people who now do not have. Internet.org works with companies like Samsung and Qualcomm, with Facebook on the head. Through Free Basics is possible to use for example Facebook, Wikipedia and BBC.

Earlier this month, the Free Basics program was halted in India. This is because the program possible conflicts with the netneutraliteitsprincipe. Several critics in India are against Free Basics for the Small Business and beginners disadvantage. Authorities in India go here according to Reuters decide on.

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