Zuckerberg Responds On India Internet, Remains Mum On Net Neutrality

This afternoon Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to comments about India's refusal to allow "Free Basics" in the country. While Facebook appeared to be bringing free internet to the world with this initiative last year – but as soon as it became apparent that not all was what it seemed, India responded. They responded by banning Free Basics altogether. Then earlier this month, they went a step further, issuing a Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulations, 2016. Today Zuckerberg responded.

India's objection to Free Basics from Facebook is that the system does bring internet, but it does not bring the entire internet. They offer free services, but they do not offer the entire gamut of internet-based services.

Instead, Free Basics gives access to the services Facebook deems "basics" – therefor prioritizing their own services. According to India's new Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulations, 2016, this cannot be allowed.

India's new law will "disallow service providers to offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis if content being accessed by a consumer."

You can read the entirety of the letter from India in two pieces in the gallery above.

Between that letter and now, Marc Andreessen responded with some comments on Twitter, which he later retracted – sort of. You'll see in the gallery below.

Today Zuckerberg responded with comments that effectively say that he's surprised and saddened by the move. He also says that he really likes India, and that Facebook "stands for helping to connect people and giving them voice to shape their own future."

Zuckerberg goes on to suggest that "to shape the future we need to understand the past. As our community in India has grown, I've gained a deeper appreciation for the need to understand India's history and culture."

Zuckerberg encourages India to accept his free internet service by guilting them into it, effectively comparing Free Basics to all forms of progress in India: "I've been inspired by how much progress India has made in building a strong nation and the largest democracy in the world," said Zuckerberg, "and I look forward to strengthening my connection to the country."