What does Facebook's Free Basics mean to Cambodia?

While Facebook’s initiative Free Basics has been recently banned and debated in India and Egypt, it’s not a topic here in Cambodia. When the service launched in October last year, only the Cambodia Daily ran the story with this headline: Controversial Facebook Internet Service Launched in Cambodia. Controversial or not, not many Cambodians here asked and discussed.

Currently only Smart mobile users can have access, at no cost, to this application platform with selected web sites to access. Exclusivity with one mobile network provider. What are those sites available for access and why?

Here’s a video introducing Cambodia to Facebook’s Free Basics:

The marketing message reads:
“Welcome to Free Basics by Facebook sponsored by Smart!
Discover the world, just under ONE platform.”

In India, ongoing discussions continue as one net neutrality activist says: “Free Basics violates Net Neutrality because it introduces an unnecessary gatekeeper who gets to decide on “who is in” and “who is out”. Services like Free Basics could permanently alienate the poor from the full choice of the Internet because it creates price discrimination hurdles that discourage those who want to leave the walled garden.”

Also good read: Facebook is Misleading Indians With its Full-page Ads About Free Basics

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