The ongoing national debate on Free Basics and Net Neutrality has gripped the country strongly. Opinions galore, there has never been such a mass interest in a topic that surrounds the freedom of our internet. At Digit, we decided to test the waters and put up a survey for you – our readers and followers – to find out what you think of Facebook's plan to provide free but limited internet services through the Free Basics platform. The survey was taken by 519 people in less than a day. As of 12PM today, here's what you thought.
Question 1: Are you aware of Facebook's Free Basics internet services?
93.8% of our survey population is aware of Facebook's Free Basics platform, while 6.3% still don't have enough information on the service.
Question 2: What is your opinion on Facebook's plan of providing free but limited access to the Internet in India, with Free Basics?
Of a total 519 responses, 39.1% thought that Free Basics is Facebook's strategy to grow its user base in India and increase advertising revenue. A close 36.1% thought that Indians should get free internet, but without a filtered experience. 18.9% were for the Free Basics service, and thought it will help widen the reach of internet in the country. There were also some (5.8%) that said that they don't care about free internet, and were happy with how things are currently.
Question 3: Do you think Free Basics by Facebook goes against the principles of Net Neutrality?
Question 4: How should free internet be provided to the masses in India?
Lastly, when asked about preferences for providing free internet to the masses, a majority of 52.3% thought free public WiFi hotspots were the best solution. Another 28.1% were of the opinion that a free, ad-supported basic 256KB internet connection would work well. 19.6% of the survey takers opined that a heavily-sudsidised 256KB connection could be the answer to our internet woes.
We thank all our participants, and if you haven't already taken the survey, let us know how you feel about Free Basics by participating here.
While Facebook users generally seem to be against the idea of Free Basics in its current form, the common man on the streets is a lot more open to Free Basics. Here's what they had to say when we went out on the streets asking for thier opinion on Free Basics