Zuckerberg drew an important distinction between net neutrality and ‘zero rating’.

Zuckerbergs pitch in Delhi Support net neutrality but allow free basic Internet for the poor
news Net Neutrality Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 13:43

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is in India at the moment has drawn an important distinction between net neutrality and ‘zero rating’. Stating that while he supports net neutrality against companies which charge more for other services, 'zero rating', like Facebook’s ‘Free Basics’ is important to provide basic internet access to those who don’t have it.

He stressed on the point that net neutrality is an important principle, both in terms of pushing for regulations and in terms of building an open platform.

Zero rating refers to the practice of offering free access to certain popular online services for customers of specific mobile networks.

Zuckerberg was speaking in response to a question on whether internet.org supports net neutrality while addressing a townhall at IIT Delhi on Wednesday.

He said that in terms of regulation, there is a lot of debate in countries on just figuring out what kind of rules they want to implement and the US has put in place pretty strong rules on net neutrality.

In terms of an open platform, he said “There are reports that we are using only a small set of services. But what we are really trying to do is to use Free Basics so that any developer who can give low bandwidth services for free can be zero-rated. That has been powerful, and provides a neutral platform without any filters.”

“Companies can charge you for using services such as Youtube and Netflix and that’s a violation of net neutrality.”

He mentioned how these practices fuel the profit motives of these companies, and in this regard, net neutrality is absolutely right. However, he also spoke about how those who are advocating for net neutrality are also advocating that zero rating shouldn’t be there.

He added, “I think we all have a moral responsibility to look out for those who do not have access to the Internet.”

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