Here’s what Facebook is doing to get more support for ‘Free Basics’

With full page ads Facebooks blitzkrieg ad campaign for Free Basics
Flix Thursday, December 24, 2015 - 15:58

Are you getting repeated notifications on Facebook to support ‘Free Basics’ by sending a mail to TRAI? So, that’s not it. Following the extensive internet campaign for ‘Free Basics’, social networking site Facebook has started campaigning through print media also in India.

Facebook has advertised about 'Free Basics' on two complete pages in the December 23 and 24 issues of The Times of India newspaper. The advertisement says, “Support a connected India.” It also adds, “Free Basics by Facebook is a first step to connecting one billion Indians to jobs, education, and opportunities online, and ultimately a better future. But Free Basics is at risk of being banned, slowing progress towards digital equality in India.”

So what does signing up for Free Basics mean? Here is our explainer. 

The Free Basics service mainly promises to offer free access to few basic websites and services for more accessiblity of internet by the masses. A Facebook spokesperson told TOI, “"This campaign gives people the opportunity to support digital equality in India. It lets people speak in support of the one billion people in India who remain unconnected, and lets them participate in the public debate that is being held by the TRAI on differential pricing for data services. And it gives them the opportunity to support Free Basics."

But many Net Nuetrality supporters and others have taken on Facebook for its 'misinformation' campaign.









Recently, the Reliance Communications customers were able to use Free Basics service on their mobile phones, but TRAI has told Reliance Communication to continue the service only after the consultation process of pricing of data by different operators is finalised. The public is allowed to comment on Free Basics to TRAI till December 30, 2015.

TRAI has received about 5.7 lakhs comments in which 5.5 lakhs were through the internet campaigning of Facebook, according to TOI. The print advertisement also asks people to support Free Basics by sending a missed call to a number. 


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