Facebook‘s FreeBasics is an Internet service which provide free basic internet services to more than 3 million users in Egypt. But due to some unknown reasons, this service was shutdown in Egypt on yesterday.
In a statement to press, Facebook stated, it hoped to “resolve this situation soon” so the program, which it had launched with Etisalat Egypt some two months ago, could be restored.
We’re disappointed that Free Basics will no longer be available in Egypt,” it said. “More than 1 million people who were previously unconnected had been using the Internet because of these efforts.
Free Basics, is part of Facebook’s Internet.org initiative that aims to bring free internet access to developing nations. Free Basics provides access to Facebook and a number of non-Facebook websites related to health, education, and economic information at no cost by tying up with local mobile network providers. But some regulators and internet activists believe it violates the principles of net neutrality and are protesting against it. India became the first country to terminate this service.
Facebook and other social media sites are extremely popular in Egypt, and played a very important role during protests in the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.