The free basics service is no longer available in India, according to a mail written by one of the Facebook spokesperson. The day it was announced by the telecommunication regulatory of India that the differential pricing of data based on the application or content that are being accessed will be prohibited, Facebook withdrawn their Free basics service from India.
This service also known as internet.org was introduced by Facebook in India a year back in February. The aim was to help poor people by providing them with the free internet access. In the beginning the service was limited only for 38 websites that includes Facebook, its messaging service, Dictionary, Bing Search, BBC news, other various news channel and the local news and job sites. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated during the first meeting of Internet.org that connectivity should not be the privilege only of the rich people rather it should be something that the poor people too can share and enjoy and he made this free Basics service available in 38 countries that was part of his project.
But it started making the situation difficult for Facebook when the civil rights groups raised their voice saying this initiative is creating a walled garden that provides access to some of the few websites and mainly Facebook wanted to offer their service at free through this service. Also according to some other critics, this service is actually not reaching to the poor people and a large part of the poor in India do not have mobile or Smartphone.
The telecom regulatory of India banned this free service finally on 8th February for some selected content. Such a ban on selected content will create differential pricing scheme on case basis and evaluating it would involve a high cost, so Facebook decided to withdraw this service from India.