In an aim to expand the internet connectivity to rural underserved locations across India, the social network giant Facebook has launched its Express WiFi service. The service is part of Internet.org initiative, which also brought the infamous ‘Free Basics’ initiative. Fortunately, Free Basics was trashed by India’s telecom watchdog TRAI saying it won’t allow differential pricing.
Back to the Facebook Express WiFi, the service is sort of public WiFi facility like Google WiFi on railway stations. But here Facebook plans to offers reliable and consistent high-speed internet access in rural parts of India. The company is also working with telecom operators, internet service providers and local entrepreneurs to expand the facility to more parts of India.
Facebook Express WiFi has gone live in Bodakdev (Ahmedabad,Gujarat), Vastrapur (Ahmedabad,Gujarat), and Jaipura (Rajasthan). The company has not indicated whether the WiFi service would provide limited access to a few specific websites, like its Free Basics or offer full-fledged internet access. But as per the official website, you will definitely get full access to Facebook. You will also get access to a range of informative website for news, education, health, job postings, and entertainment.
Express Wifi empowers local entrepreneurs to help provide quality internet access to their neighbours. They can become Express WiFi retailers, who will then sell data packs to make a steady income. The company will also offer its software to local internet service providers and mobile operators to build similar public WiFi services.
“We focus on building a sustainable economic model for all stakeholders involved so that 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 can scale to bring all of India online” commented a Facebook spokesperson.
Facebook Express WiFi Data Packs
Facebook Express WiFi service will come with 14 days free trail. Where you can enjoy free internet up to 100MB per day for fourteen days. After the free trail users can buy affordable data packs to access the Internet on the Express Wi-Fi network.
The validity of these data packs will be based on either quota-based or time-based. For example, if you bought a DAILY 100 plan which offers 100MB data benefits for 24 hours and used only 30MB at end of the day, then the pack will expire along with the data. If you are from any of the above locations where Facebook Express WiFi has launched, you can call 0800 0266 55465 to find a nearby Express WiFi retailer.