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Mark presses ' like' for net neutrality.

REITERATING the need of an open internet platform like its proprietary initiative Internet. org in India, Facebook founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday reminded that Facebook always supported net neutrality.

While addressing the students of IIT- Delhi he said that his company is committed to net neutrality but supported zero- rating plans which have been criticised by many as violative of the principles of free Internet.

" Net neutrality is important principle. We do a lot to support both in terms of regulation and in our own work building an open platform that any developer can build something for regardless of who they are if they follow the basic rules," he said.

Speaking at his first Townhall in India, the young billionaire said the world's largest social network is working both in terms of supporting regulations around that principle and building an open platform for developers.

Facebook's Internet. org, which aims to bring free Internet access to the developing world, has faced backlash with activists alleging that it violates network neutrality, the idea that all online traffic should be treated equally.

" Internet. org and Facebook are 100 per cent supportive of net neutrality, we lobby for it across the world, we build an open platform with no filtering but at the same time we also need to make sure that we continue to push for access," Zuckerberg said.

On zero- rating plans of telecom firms like Bharti Airtel, Zuckerberg said, " But to those who advocate against zero- rating I say look at a student who wants free access to the Internet for her studies. Who gets hurt by that? Around the world, all the regulations are honouring this principle. Prioritising zero- rating is necessary to connect everyone to the Internet. Facebook and Internet.

org support net neutrality 100 per cent, but we also need to push for access." Highlighting the importance of the Indian market for the world's largest social media firm, Zuckerberg said the This is Zuckerberg's first Townhall in India

country plays a huge role in its mission of connecting a billion people to the Internet. " India is the world's largest democracy... When you have the mission to connect everyone in the world, you cannot do without connecting everyone in India, he said. India is the second largest user- base for Facebook after the US with 130 million users," he added.

Facebook has over 1.3 billion users globally. India is the world's largest democracy and we have 130 million users here.

" Its a mission for us to help provide access to Internet," he said. Zuckerberg said the company is investing in a number of initiatives, aimed at breaking barriers to connectivity and lack of awareness.

These include solar powered planes and a project to send a satellite for beaming signals.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Oct 29, 2015
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