[bestbits] The unintended consequences of Free Basics campaign in India

Deirdre Williams williams.deirdre at gmail.com
Fri Jan 15 08:57:01 EST 2016

Please forgive the cross posting.

Thank you Parminder. I've shared the article with colleagues in the
One thing that concerns me though - in all the discussion about "free"
services it seems to be generally ignored, by both sides of the argument,
that the service is not accessible unless the user has access to an
appropriate communications device, a subscription to an ISP of some type,
and a source of electricity.
It is surely dangerous to assume that potential users already have these
I tried to offer reminders of this in appropriate workshops in Joao Pessoa,
but I'm not sure that anyone paid attention :-)
I would be very interested to learn what other people think.
Thanks again for an interesting article
Best wishes to everyone for 2016

On 15 January 2016 at 02:47, parminder <parminder at itforchange.net> wrote:

> Did this oped in The Hindu yesterday on the what have been unintended good
> consequences of the aggressive Free Basics campaign in India ...
> "What Free Basics did not intend to do
> <http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/what-free-basics-did-not-intend-to-do/article8102897.ece#comments>
> "
> As the main benefit, India 'may just' become the first country to provide
> some kind of govt mandated free data allowance. Although it is still only a
> serious option being considered.
> see
> http://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/pmo-wades-into-differential-pricing-debate/50585508
> That would represent a big big shift in the policy thinking and practice
> around the Internet.
> Parminder
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“The fundamental cure for poverty is not money but knowledge" Sir William
Arthur Lewis, Nobel Prize Economics, 1979
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