Meta is abolishing its cheap WiFi program for developing countries


It’s a target completion their own Express Wi-Fi program designed to provide cheap internet in developing countries through partnerships with local communities, mobile operators and businesses. Launched in 2016was not as free as the failed Free Basics program owned by Meta-owned Facebook, Knocked down Indian courts for violating network neutrality. Instead, it is designed to be cheap, starting at around 15 cents for 100 MB or $ 5 for 20 GB.

Facebook has partnered with satellite companies, ISPs and others in places like India, South Africa and the Philippines. Merchants were able to sell hotspots at reasonable prices set by them and the operator, not Facebook. Meta would, of course, benefit from access to new users she undoubtedly hoped would create Facebook accounts. As with Google, most of the company’s recent growth comes from developing countries where people are connecting to the Internet for the first time.

Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that breakdowns were being created in Meta’s free internet services unwanted charges for users in countries like Pakistan. Meta also reportedly favored its own content on its Discover service with free data to the detriment of other sites.

Meta said that although Express Wi-Fi is shutting down, it is focusing on other projects around internet access. “As we conclude our work on this program to focus on the development of other projects, we remain committed to working with partners across the telecommunications ecosystem to provide better connectivity,” a Meta spokesman said in a statement. He promised to work with Express Wi-Fi partners to “reduce the impact on their business and keep the networks running”.

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