Significance of the Facebook-Jio deal and how it ties into Zuckerberg’s 2013 vision- Technology News, Firstpost

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The world has evolved a lot (and lately has also managed to lock itself up) in the last half decade.

Five years ago, only 135 million Indians, out of 330 million with Internet access, were in use. Facebook. Today, about 310 million Indians are in Facebook and more than 560 million Indians have access to the internet.

In 2015, net neutrality was the buzzword on the Indian internet. Facebook tried to give more Indians access to a limited version with little data from the Internet through their Internet.org plan, which was renamed as Free Basics. A plan that met strong opposition in India, as it was found violating the principles of net neutrality.

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The following year, 2016, was very busy in this regard. In the first quarter of 2016, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) paid attention to Facebook’s plans and 1 Hacker Way was forced to withdraw Free Basics from India.

In the second half of 2016, another event took place, which would make Fast Basics redundant in India anyway – the public launch of Reliance Jio.

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Representational image. Credit: Reuters

This release rewrote Indian Internet rules and democratic access to the Internet like no other service before. The number of mobile internet users in India had already surpassed desktop users by 2012, they had access to speed and bandwidth close to that of wired broadband.

Affordable data, coupled with low-cost smartphones, has led to a boom in India's internet consumption, quickly shooting a developing country & # 39; at the top of the list of countries with the highest data consumption in the world.

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As Jio grew up, other internet services, including Facebook-owned Instagram and Whatsapp, also grew alongside in India. The Internet started to become an essential part of the life of the Indians beyond the big cities and towns, and Whatsapp It was where India talked, shared, discussed and debated.

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In 2020, when India is locked up because of the COVID-19 crisis, the country is still functioning and people are communicating with ease, and without worrying that their data plans will run out, and this is possible for a large number of people. due to this launch in late 2016.

Amid this blockade, news of Facebook's biggest investment ever made – $ 5.7 billion in Jio for a 9.99% stake. There is much speculation about what this deal would translate for both companies and Indian consumers.

(Read too: Facebook buys a 9.9% stake in Reliance Jio: because it is a win-win business; key highlights of the $ 5.7 billion deal)

Go back to 2013. Along with the launch of Internet.org, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a whitepaper outlining their plans. However, a lot has changed since 2013. "In many countries, the cost of a data plan is much more expensive than the price of a smartphone," wrote Zuckerberg. This is no longer true, at least in India. The premise of Internet.org/Free Basic was low data consumption. Jio rewrote that rule.

However, the central idea of ​​Zuckerberg's white paper was "connectivity as a human right". That thought still holds true for the world in 2020, and Facebook's billion-dollar investment in Jio just adds more credibility to that belief.

While Jio paved the way for broad Internet access in India, this alliance between Facebook and Jio will help make Internet access more interesting, adding more meaning to an individual's Internet access, opening up many avenues and opportunities not yet available. exploited.

Image: Mark Zuckerberg's Whitepaper

Image: Mark Zuckerberg's Whitepaper

Facebook's reaffirmation will integrate Indian Internet users more deeply into the global knowledge economy, which Zuckerberg spoke of in his 2013 whitepaper. This knowledge economy encourages prosperity.

(Read too: The partnership between Facebook and Reliance Jio will benefit micro, small and medium-sized companies, farmers and small traders: BFI)

We are already witnessing this post-Jio boom in India's knowledge economy. This prosperity fueled by the Internet will accelerate the importance of the Internet in the lives of the Indians, establishing it as a "human right".

The Facebook-Jio deal not only brings together two large companies from two powerful countries, but also empowers Indian Internet users to get more benefits from their Internet access.

The stated goal of Internet.org, led by Facebook, says "to bring Internet access and the benefits of connectivity to the part of the world that doesn't have it". Jio has achieved the goal of "bringing access to the Internet" and this agreement with Facebook-Jio will help fulfill the other half – "connectivity benefits".

Disclaimer: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of the Independent Media Trust, which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd, which publishes Firstpost

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