Companies like Google and Facebook only care about Net Neutrality in the U.S.
Net Neutrality has been a topic that has gotten a lot of press in the U.S. over the past couple years. The idea of it is pretty simple: Internet service providers (ISPs) including wireless carriers shouldn't be allowed to give preferential treatment to different content; users should have equal access to all content. Unfortunately, the Net Neutrality debate is really a privilege of the developed world, according to a new report.
The report from the MIT Technology Review, details how Net Neutrality is not a reality for developing nations; and, the tenants of Net Neutrality are being violated in developing nations by some of its biggest supporters in the U.S.. In India, Nigeria, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines, Google offers something called the "Free Zone", which allows users to connect to Google services via mobile phones, and Google pays the data charges. Similarly, in 50 different countries around the world (including Australia, France, and the UK), mobile users can use "Facebook Free" to connect to Facebook and not have to pay data charges.
Both of these services are in clear violation of Net Neutrality ideals, but the rationale is that many of these users wouldn't have any access to the Internet if it weren't for these policies. Of course, if either of these companies attempted to offer the same thing in the U.S. through AT&T or Verizon, not only would there be an uproar about Net Neutrality, but both would be seen as hypocrites given their support of a "free and open" Internet.