Facebook Partners with Telenor to Launch Internet.org in Pakistan
Facebook, in collaboration with Telenor Pakistan, is launching its internet.org initiative in Pakistan tomorrow, we have checked. Official launch will be made at an event planned for tomorrow where high-ups from Telenor and Facebook will be announcing their plans about internet.org in Pakistan.
For those who don’t know, Facebook’s internet.org is a global initiative where selected internet or selected websites are made available to users for free. Internet.org is mainly aimed for developing markets where devices and data rates are beyond the affordability of commoners.
Facebook partners with telecom companies, content providers, to make these selected websites available to their consumers. Internet.org, which is currently available in six countries, is aiming to reach at least 100 countries by the end of next year.
Telenor users can expect around 20 websites to be available for free browsing
With tomorrow’s launch, Pakistan will become seventh country where Internet.org will be available for masses. Facebook’s contract with Telenor will not be exclusive in nature, and hence other operators will also be allowed to join the program.
While we don’t have confirmed details, Telenor users can expect around 20 websites to be available for free browsing.
Pakistan currently has over 14 million 3G/4G users, while this number is expected to cross 30 million with-in next eighteen month.
Michael Foley, Telenor’s CEO had hinted about its partnership with Facebook. Telenor CEO had said that his company will be looking for ways to attract customers towards internet.
Internet activists, on the other hands, criticize that internet.org violates net neutrality norms as not all of the internet is made available for free. Instead, certain websites, which of course include Facebook, are allowed for free while rest of the internet is charged as per usual rates.
Critics say that internet.org is intentionally or unintentionally killing the rest of internet as only selected internet or selected opinion/ideas are bombarded that can be dangerous in the long run, especially because not everyone can join the program.
All publishers can apply to become part of internet.org program, however, not everyone is accepted as they have to follow certain rules/guidelines even if they have to compromise with quality of the content.