When Free is Not Really Free

The Ma Bell Free Internet

Imagine a 1990's program called “Ma Bell Internet for Poor and Parsimonious People” — a program that seeks to help millions of Americans who crave access to the internet with “free internet”.

Andreessen, Netscape and Facebook

Marc Andreessen, who as Facebook board member, supports the Free Basics program vehemently fought against the monopoly of Microsoft — and their decision to bundle Internet Explorer for Free. This Wired article on Netscape vs Microsoft explains this in detail.

The Power of Default

What Microsoft was trying to achieve in late ’90s was the ability to default our browser choice to Internet Explorer and make it difficult, if not impossible, for an average person to switch to Netscape.

Final Words

While I disagree with the “Free Basics” program of Facebook, I do think that its possible that Mark Zuckerberg and his team were genuinely trying to help millions of people go online.

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CEO, Skyflow Privacy Vault, an API company.

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Anshu Sharma

Anshu Sharma

CEO, Skyflow Privacy Vault, an API company.