Facebook launches “Express Wifi” service as pilot project in India’s rural regions
Social Networking giant Facebook has confirmed that the firm is now testing its “Express Wifi” service in various rural locations in India as pilot projects. The new model for public WiFi, as per Facebook, would enable local carriers, services providers, and entrepreneurs to offer connectivity to their neighbors. It’ll earn the providers a steady income along with uplifting Internet connectivity in their locality.
Local ISPs or mobile operators would be able to use the software provided by Facebook to facilitate connectivity in specifically selected regions. The customers would be allowed access to “Express Wifi” service by purchasing affordable data packs via digital vouchers.
It is not clear whether the service is open or limits the access to only selected websites like its Free-basics, which had faced fury from Indian Internet consumer community for violating principles of net-neutrality.
This solution empowers ISPs, operators and local entrepreneur retailers to offer quality Internet access to their village, town or region,
said a Facebook spokesperson while confirming the reports.
We focus on building a sustainable economic model for all stakeholders involved, so the local retailer entrepreneurs, ISps, operators and Facebook can continue to invest in and operate lasting connectivity. We believe a sustainable economic model is the one which scale to bring all of India online,
he further added.
However, the company didn’t release any details regarding its partners in this venture or the locations of the pilot project sites. The program is also part of the Internet.org under which Facebook has tried to invade Indian consumer market with Free Basics that was taken down by the government.
Photo: Networked India