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Facebook's free internet service shut down in Egypt

Egypt joins India in pulling the plug on Facebook's 'Free Basics.'
Billy Steele
December 30, 2015
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Last week, regulators in India clamped down on Facebook's Free Basics in the country, and now Egypt is doing the same. The Associated Press reports that the program the social network launched with Etisalat Egypt two months ago was shut down today. In a statement to the AP, Facebook said that it hopes the issue is resolved soon, so that the nearly one million people that were previously without internet will have access restored.

Authorities in Egypt haven't announced a reason for the move, but despite offering free access to healthcare and other info online, the Internet.org initiative has garnered its fair share of criticism. In India, for example, regulators argue that Free Basics violates the terms of net neutrality by favoring certain carriers, services, and websites. Access to the internet (and those services) is offered through a Facebook-branded online portal, the Free Basics app, rather than being completely open.

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