Facebook tests ‘Express Wifi’ in India for offering quality internet access
As indicated on Facebook’s Internet.Org page, the organization’s “Express Wifi” is live in India and it is “working with carriers, internet service providers and local entrepreneurs to help expand connectivity to underserved locations around the world”.
However, Facebook did not reveal if the Wi-Fi will give limited access to a couple of sites, similar to its Free Basics, or provide full access.
Express Wifi enables local entrepreneurs to give quality Internet access to their neighbors and make a steady income.
“Working with local internet service providers or mobile operators, they are able to use software provided by Facebook to connect their communities,” it said.
Facebook is exploring different products like laser drones to enhance internet connectivity for users across the globe.
A Facebook representative affirmed that the organization is at presently working with internet service providers to test ‘Express Wi-Fi’ with public Wi-Fi deployments in multiple pilot sites.
“This solution empowers ISPs, operators and local entrepreneur-retailers to offer quality Internet access to their village, town or region,” the spokesperson said.
the representative did not comment on the areas or the names of the partners in the venture.
The Facebook representative said Express Wi-Fi customers can purchase fast, reliable and affordable data packs via digital vouchers to access the Internet on the Express Wi-Fi network.
The US-based organization had pulled the plug on its controversy- ridden ‘Free Basics programme’ in India in February this year after telecom regulator Trai barred operators from charging discriminatory rates for Internet access based on content.
Launched in 2014, Facebook keeps on running the program across many countries. The service was launched in India in partnership with Reliance Communications as Internet.Org., which was later rebranded as Free Basics – went for giving basic Internet access to individuals in association with telecom operators.