More people in India have access to free Internet services now that Facebook has greatly expanded the reach of its Free Basics app in the country. The company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, announced that everyone in India can now access health, education, job, and communication services through his company’s Internet.org app — for free.
The nationwide coverage is through Internet.org’s partnership with the Reliance network, which was formed in February. Originally only six states in the country had access to available services: Tamil Nadu, Mahararashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, and Telangana.
With Free Basics, users can take advantage of reading the latest news, engaging with their local government, search for jobs, and find answers about issues around pregnancy, childcare, and more. They can also get information about local transit and sporting events.
Zuckerberg has long had a desire to see Internet.org spread throughout the world’s third largest democracy. India is also home to 130 million Facebook users; by granting wider Internet access to people, there’s a good chance that more of the country’s 1.25 billion people could sign up. The Internet.org initiative has already helped 15 million people around the world get better connected.