Zero Rating: Philippines and Pakistan Say "Yes," India Might Say "No"

The controversy over zero rating in India might also be affecting Google, in the sense of raising potential hostility neither Facebook nor Google wants to incur.

Google has a similar zero rating initiative called Google Free Zone that has been offered in a handful of countries like Kenya, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Philippines.

Especially after positive results in the Philippines, it would have been logical for Google to introduce the concept in India.

But some reports suggest the controversy, which also has seen app providers in India pull back from participation in Internet.org, a zero rating program for India, is causing Google to wait, as well.

Separately, Telenor Pakistan has launched Internet.org in Pakistan, making available to Telenor Pakistan's customers free access to 17 basic online services including Accuweather, BBC, BabyCenter &MAMA, Malaria No More, UNICEF Facts for Life, Bing.com, ESPN Cricinfo, Mustakbil, ilmkidunya, Telenor News, Urdupoint Cooking, OLX, Facebook, Messenger, Wikipedia and Telenor WAP MobilePortal, using either the 2G or 3G platforms.

Consumers can use Internet.org aps directly from Internet.org or by downloading the Android app.

Internet.org is a Facebook-led initiative bringing together technology leaders, nonprofits and local communities with the goal of making internet access available and affordable to the two-thirds of the world that is not yet connected and bringing the same opportunities to everyone that the connected world has today.

Internet.org was first launched in July 2014 in Zambia and in less than a year it made valuable online services accessible without data charges for millions of people in Tanzania, Kenya, Colombia, Ghana, India, Philippines, Guatemala, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malawi and now in Pakistan.


SPECTRUM FUTURES
The M Hotel Singapore  |  10-11 September 2015
India possibly says no, Philippines and Pakistan say yes. What is the right way to view zero rating and sponsored data? What is the impact on rapidly growing Internet access?

Spectrum Futures 2015 will examine zero rating, sponsored access and other ways of rapidly increasing Internet use by billions in South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Spectrum Futures 2015 will bring together regulators and service providers from throughout the Asia-Pacific region to allow the exchange of ideas about key policies to help emerging markets like India, the Phillippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and Myanmar connect to their populations to the Internet within the next decade.
Join the conversation at Spectrum Futures 2015.
www.spectrumfutures.org

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