The controversial free internet project from Facebook, Internet.org received a facelift today. The Smartphone application and the website will be known as “free basics” from now.
Facebook’s two year old project was faced with controversy after it was alleged with the net neutrality violation.
Facebook has included 60 new services like Mera Doctor for health, English Dost for learning English, M-Kisan for farmers, and Skymet for weather forecast, etc.
Facebook launched the project in February with the intention of connecting those people who do not have access to the internet or social media network.
It was alleged that Facebook is dictating what the contents are accessible through the free app.
According to critics, the social media network is working together with telecom operators to control internet traffic to few services.
In July 2015, the department of telecom alleged that internet.org is violating the principles of net neutrality.
Freebasics with added services and better security measures will help the social network site to get new users across from the globe.
The announcement of revamp comes just few days before the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the campus of Facebook in California on 27th September.
Internet.Org Vice-President Chris Daniels said that they made the change to make internet.org distinguish itself from other programs and services provided by Facebook. Including the new program called Free Basics. He added that any person using the app at present will be able to continue the use without any problem, but it will be now called as Free Basics in Google Play. The URL will change to Freebasics.com. Internet.Org’s ‘Freebasics’ services are already accessible by one billion people from Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The program is supported by many mobile operators from 17 countries to offer internet access without any data charges to more than a billion users.
Internet.org is a service that is functioning well and it has made changes in many people’s lives by providing crucial information regarding education, health and the economy. The Smart business website service helps the people to learn how to start and run a business. The searches for the service have increased 5 times since it was launched in July in South Africa.
In India, more than 8 lakh people use this initiative and Facebook is offering the service in partnership with reliance communications in the country. Indians can get free access to more than 30 websites without paying any data charges.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook had defended the program and said that the service is not a violation of net neutrality.