Facebook Launches its Limited Free Internet.org in Pakistan for Telenor Users

The biggest social network has launched its free yet limited internet facility called ‘internet.org’ in Pakistan, which makes it the 11th country to finally get this service. On Thursday, in a Facebook post, the company’s CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement that people using the Telenor Pakistan Network could take advantage of the internet.org as it is live now. He said that people will be able to benefit from valuable services without any charges such as resources for communication, local news, jobs and health.

The CEO further claimed that the basic internet facility offered via this internet program would be available to about 1 billion people all over the globe. ‘Internet.org’ is a worldwide initiative taken up by Facebook where a number of websites will be made available to people for free. The primary aim of developing this programs is to target developing markets where data rates and devices are beyond the reach of common people. After striking up a partnership with content providers and telecom companies, the social media giant would ensure that their consumers could use some particular websites without paying any charges.

However, this certain program has received heavy criticism from internet activists because of its violation of the neutrality of the internet and partiality because only some specific websites such as Facebook will be accessible whereas they will have to pay for the rest of the websites. It is also claimed by them that ‘internet.org’ is ‘killing the rest of the internet’ whether intentionally or unintentionally remains to be seen because only selected content existing on the net will be promoted. In the long run, this can be dangerous because not everyone can be a part of this program.

Even though it is possible for any publisher to apply for becoming a part of internet.org, certain rules and guidelines have to be followed, which may involve making compromises on the quality of content. Also, there is a possibility that the application might be rejected. GfK’s market research has shown that there are about 30 million internet users in Pakistan and 15 million users of smartphones in the country.

According to the recent statistics, there was a staggering growth in the use of the internet, approximately 550%. This increase took place from September 2014 to April of this year. The number of 3G subscribers in the country surpassed 11 million. It was also predicted by the research that the country’s tech market would increase by 15% this year.