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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg disappointed with TRAI's decision favouring net neutrality

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MUMBAI: Everyone in the world should have access to the Internet says Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Voicing his disappointment over Indian regulator - the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) decision, which upheld net neutrality and ruled against differential pricing of data services, Zuckerberg took to his social networking website and said, "Today India's telecom regulator decided to restrict programs that provide free access to data. This restricts one of Internet.org's initiatives, Free Basics, as well as programs by other organizations that provide free access to data."

With an aim to provide basic internet services to all, Zuckerberg launched Internet.org with many different initiatives -- including extending networks through solar-powered planes, satellites and lasers, providing free data access through Free Basics, reducing data use through apps, and empowering local entrepreneurs through Express Wi-Fi.

"While we're disappointed with today's decision, I want to personally communicate that we are committed to keep working to break down barriers to connectivity in India and around the world. Internet.org has many initiatives, and we will keep working until everyone has access to the internet," he added.

He added that with Internet.org, more than 19 million people in 38 countries have been connected through its different programs.

"Connecting India is an important goal we won't give up on, because more than a billion people in India don't have access to the internet. We know that connecting them can help lift people out of poverty, create millions of jobs and spread education opportunities. We care about these people, and that's why we're so committed to connecting them," he voiced.

Zuckerberg said that Facebook's mission was to make the world more open and connected. "That mission continues, and so does our commitment to India," he said.

It may be recalled that Facebook faced a lot of flak recently when it asked its users to support Free Basics via a poll. Free Basics has been criticised over grounds that it curbed people's freedom to access the internet of their choice.

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