Do you know who is against Free Basics by Facebook or any other cartel floated by telecom companies?
Content creators, owners of applications, websites, games etc. If Facebook is successfull in launching its free basics program, they will lose a chance to get equal opportunity in the internet space.
I understand your stand content creators. But my concern is why should the consumers sacrifice their chance at free or low priced internet.
On other note, how much time it takes for a small time content creator (probably cribbing now about net neutrality) to move to the other side of the fence – just an angel investor required.
Unfortunately poor consumers don’t have such an angel to help them move up in life.
And this was against a comment asking me about big internet companies elbowing smaller ones.
I think there’s a point not many are talking about. Take internet penetration at 15% now (before Facebook/Airtel/Reliance launch any anti net-neutrality programs). At this level, both big and small internet companies are already competing. The smaller companies are also giving a strong competition; that’s why the big ones want to safeguard their interests by floating such cartels as Free Basics. This 15% will stay. In fact it will grow. What will not stay intact is the remaining 85% who will keep on upgrading. Therefore, smaller companies will still have a fair chance to grow like now.
The remaining 85% that will come to internet are a completely new audience. If the big internet companies are investing on exposing this 85% population to internet, why should they share it equally with the smaller companies. Wouldn’t it be unfair for them?
I believe we are looking at this problem in a very selfish manner. The cause of 85% cannot be sacrificed for a few small internet companies. We opposed Airtel and it was rolled back. We are opposing Facebook and probably this too will not see the light of the day. The 85% will still have no internet. In an earlier post I had suggested why can the government not launch such an initiative. Just replace Facebook with government. Then we can ask the government to give equal opportunity to both big and small internet companies.