"Care should be taken to ensure that users have the greatest possible access "

World Bank says Facebook Free Basics contradicts fundamental rights and freedoms
news Net Neutrality Thursday, January 14, 2016 - 13:35

After net neutrality activists and academicians spoke against Facebook’s zero-rating platform for differential pricing of Internet data, the World Bank on Thursday also came out in support of net neutrality.

It said companies should ensure maximum possible internet access to users and not undermine their fundamental rights and freedoms.

"Care should be taken to ensure that users have the greatest possible access to internet-based content, applications and services of their choice," said the World Bank in a report.

"But traffic management measures, while legitimate, should not reduce the enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms, particularly freedom of expression," the report added.

The bank in its voluminous 350-page report 'World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends said, the balance here should be carefully calibrated so that network operators continue to have incentives to build and continuously improve networks and network capacity.

Talking about net neutrality, the international financial institution in its report referred to the debate in many developing countries like India and offers made by companies like Facebook.

In India, there have been numerous debates and discussions regarding Facebook’s plan with the regulator TRAI yet to take a final call on the matter.

According to the latest development, TRAI has said that it has not received any messages in support of the zero-rating platform before the deadline of January 7. 

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