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Entanet voices concerns over Zuckerberg’s Internet.org initiative and net neutrality

29 April 2015

Wholesale connectivity provider, Entanet, has voiced its disquiet over moves by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to develop an app providing end users with access to selected content on the Internet within some of the world’s poorest countries.

While applauding the core objectives behind the project, Entanet is concerned that the current format of the scheme is directly opposed to the fundamental principles of net neutrality, under which all content is treated equally and is openly available for everyone to access.

In an article on its Opinion blog (www.enta.net/opinion/), Neil Watson, Head of Service at Entanet, says that, as the cost of delivering content via the Internet.org scheme is paid for by the content provider, rather than the end user, there is a real danger that it will be used for commercial gain or to influence people unfairly. “The Internet.org project will only provide free access to content from partners that are involved in the project and are therefore paying for access to their own service – which is the fundamental opposite of net neutrality”, Watson states.

Zuckerberg has already responded to criticism of the scheme, arguing that Internet.org is open to any content provider and that some access is better than no access at all. Entanet however, shares the concerns of many across the global Internet community that any control over content invites potential for abuse. Watson says: “What may be a useful short-term solution could have serious repercussions for a longer term Internet policy that could end up multi-tiered and favouring particular content and providers. Whilst we applaud the core objectives behind this project, the potential for harm in its current format is concerning.”

The company is calling on its partners and interested parties to also enter the debate.

To read the full article, go to www.enta.net/opinion.