delivering poor Internet to poor people



And this is the ethical difference between Google and Facebook. Google mainly screws money out of people who have it. Facebook screws everyone.


A free internet service should not be judged on the same parameters as a paid service.

This debate can be compared to someone complaining that a free, charitable soup kitchen only serves soup because they believe persons should be served steak instead. All while seemingly not being aware of the fact that providing steak would limit the number of persons who could potentially be fed for FREE! To pull support for a charitable cause because of such a limitation would be shallow.

The same applies to this situation with free internet.

All in all, this is why no one can have nice things nowadays.

The efforts of charitable concepts always are misconstrued as corporate greed by some individuals.

Get over yourselves, people.

Sorry India, but if you wish to complain and protest about a free service, then perhaps you don’t really need it. Other developing nations wish we had the same opportunity.

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I do believe that Cory is pointing out that’s actions perpetuates/feeds/maintains corruption. He provides links to articles that make substantiated claims that’s methods are counter-productive to Indian society in general and’s stated aims

You reply: “Poor people should shut up and take what we give them…” Way to go, man! Much enlightenment. Wow!

The Internet is (part of) the Commons in almost all of the world. A few countries have already banned zero-rating, India should ban it as well. That’s what they’re asking for.

Edited to add: CBC’s tech/trend show Spark, quite coincidentally as I type this, is broadcasting a piece on this.


Hi @Yorickbrown, welcome to BoingBoing!
Nice to see you register today to comment, hope you will stick around and are not just here to astroturf this single thread for a big telco or!
You can learn more about astroturfing here

I have two thoughts about this crappy AOL style 'net experience.
On one hand it sucks that the internet is filtered down to a few handpicked sites, though it is subsidized to reach those who might have none.
OTOH I wonder how hackable this is to do a sneaky tunnel protocol and end up with all of the web and other services for free.


beat me to it :wink:


I am always surprised how quickly the PR sensitive topics can get a well written high in the thread comment.
I guess if they are too high up it looks like prewritten astroturf, too low and nobody notices the comment.


Your logic here is specious. While it would be cost prohibitive for a soup kitchen to serve steak, this does not explain why denies access to Google or Youtube. Opening access to a different set of domain name servers is not a cost prohibitive venture. It’s a technical decision that the underlying telecommunication infrastructure already enables. Cost is not the justification for denying access to these services, therefore your analogy is flawed and irrelevant.

The implicit comparison here is that the poor people who are the ‘beneficiaries’ of this service ought to be grateful for the scraps they are served. And we, as their paternalistic superiors, ought to pride ourselves on our benevolent condescension. How lucky they are to receive our charity! How dare they, or we, complain that the quality of the service is engineered to perpetuate a prolongation of inequality between us? How dare any of us bristle at the notion that all people are equally deserving of access to the same information, or that it might be the responsibility of citizens (and even corporate citizens) to improve the quality of people’s lives? Furthermore, how dare we express the slightest disdain for an economic system that profits from the continued subordination of others? No, we should by all accounts be grateful that Facebook has turned poverty to its own advantage. Let the scraps trickle down!


Also, to pile on, here ya go:


Does it cost an isp/telco to provide bandwidth for data heavy sites such as Youtube/Netflix though?

Give it day or two, google some phrases. Astroturf/ad posts then become fairly evident, as they are typically copypasted to multiple sites.

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Oh, this is fun.

free speech should not be judged on the same parameters as a paid speech.

free education should not be judged on the same parameters as a paid education.

free humans should not be judged on the same parameters as paid humans.

free beer should not be judged on the same parameters as a paid beer.

Your story checks out.


Yes, and that’s what traffic shaping and bandwidth throttling is there for.

As someone whose first experiences were on 2400 bps modem, I can attest that speed is a distant secondary to openness of access.


It’s already been hacked. Listen to the Spark podcast.


I guess that depends on what you mean by “gets for free.” Poor people in the U.S. often don’t have internet access either (though at least the ones who have library access or whatnot have fewer restrictions on what they can see).


Except, we’re doing our very best to disallow those kinds of traffic control on the internet.
Open and free, level playing field, blah blah.

Welcome to BB, new poster!

A lot of Indians would be happy to have even 2400bps :wink:

In the Philippines, we pay fortune for a crappy 3 Mbps internet.

PLDT, Smart, Globe. These scammers are holding this country behind from the rest of Southeast Asia when it comes to internet speed.

3 Mbps - PHP 1699/mo. (SGD 50)
5 Mbps - PHP 2699/mo. (SGD 80)

In Singapore, you get 1 Gbps for only SGD 59/mo. (That’s cheaper than the 5 Mbps plan in the Philippines)