Last couple of days have been too harsh for everything related to Facebook free basics. First there was an official declaration by TRAI which ended Free Basic’s hopes to settle in India, then there was a comment by one of Facebook’s members about India and Indians, which needed Mark Zuckerberg to come up and apologize and finally, from what we hear is the official news from a Facebook’s India spokesperson that the free basics service is no longer available in the country.
Indians have always been vocal about the status of Internet in the country. It came out in the open for the first time when Airtel launched differential pricing for VOIP calls including Skype, after a lot of protest against the telecom company, Airtel had to finally withdraw it.
Free Basics also received a lot of protest against the full page news paper advertisement and the facebook form which it asked to fill in order to show their support to the Free basics initiative in India. Facebook did get a lot of support for that campaign, however, TRAI had made it clear in the first attempt that the support of people collected through the form on faceook was not going to be accepted from Facebook.
Considering the big Indian market and ever growing internet population, Facebook considered India as one of the major markets and Mark Zuckerberg has been open in accepting it many times publically, however, after the latest update, it’s going to be interesting to see how Facebook’s stance changes for India and Indians.