After Free Basics failure Facebook now came with Facebook Express WiFi service in India. But this time, it is paid service primarily intended for rural areas.
In Express WiFi initiative Facebook buys bandwidth from the local ISPs like BSNL, Airtel, etc. and provide the same bandwidth to the remote users who don’t have internet facility for an affordable price.
For this Facebook developed software for local ISPs to sell the bandwidth, and the company creates WiFi hotspots in rural India and associate the purchased bandwidth to those hot spots. Already Facebook has created 125 WiFi hotspots in rural India with the help of BSNL in a trial run.
Unlike Free Basics, the “Express WiFi” service provides unrestricted access to websites and applications. You might be familiar with the Free Basic program which Govt. of India banned in India earlier this year. People and Govt. thought that the Free Basics disturbs Net Neutrality in India, so many agitations took place at that time.
At present 462 million Indian has internet access and the internet Giants Facebook and Google tries to expand the web reach to more people in India with different programs. Google is already providing WiFi internet facility in few railway stations in India. Facebook has the plan to introduce internet access by using flying drones, and high-altitude balloons.