Internet.org Becomes ‘Open’ Platform, Any App / Website Can Now Participate
It seems Facebook has heard the cries of Net Neutrality campaigners – They have now opened up their much talked about Internet.org platform for all developers, who can now bring their apps and websites to become part of the platform as long as they adhere to certain guidelines.
Internet.org has been facing much flak, especially in recent times, after it was launched in India. The protests were so strong that some of their partners in India decided to ditch internet.org in support of Net Neutrality. Cleartrip was one of the first startups to move out of Internet.org, and then others like Times Group, NDTV and Newshunt also decided to get off the boat.
While Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg tried valiantly to defend Internet.org stating that Net Neutrality and Internet.org can co-exist, very few actually bought his reasoning. Here are 5 reasons we stated why Mark Zuckerberg was completely wrong about Internet.Org.
After such a backlash, it seems Mark has listened and has now made Internet.org free for all! While anyone can join Internet.org, they will still need to adhere to 3 basic guidelines, which are:
- Explore the entire internet – Services on Internet.org should encourage the exploration of the broader internet wherever possible.
- Efficiency – the apps on internet.org should use data very efficiently. Websites that require high-bandwidth will not be included. Services should not use VoIP, video, file transfer, high resolution photos, or high volume of photos.
So, any apps that are closed in nature or have high bandwidth usage will not be accepted. If developers want their apps/websites to be part of Internet.org, they will have to make them efficient and less data consuming.
Does it Break Net Neutrality Now?
If the participation of apps and websites is open and their acceptance is done transparently, it theoritically will not break Net Neutrality.
Prima Facie, with this platform opening up, even the startups and smaller outfits will get equal chance to get on the internet.org bandwagon, and hence it may not break Net Neutrality principles.
Mark Zuckerberg in his video has also reiterated the fact that they do not receive or offer any compensation to either telecom operators or the participating sites, which seems to be fair. However, internet.org is only available on Reliance network right now. Hopefully, it will be available on other networks as well.
I’d like to give benefit of doubt here to Facebook and say that they are not breaking Net Neutrality principles if internet.org is implemented in open and transparent manner!
What are your thoughts?