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Free Basics, a Facebook service, suspended in Egypt

5 years 5 months ago

Free Basics, a Facebook service that offers free internet services, was suspended in Egypt on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The service was launched two months ago by the local mobile carrier Etisalat. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) said that the suspension is not related to any security reasons. The  shutdown came after Etisalat’s permit to offer the service had expired.

Facebook spokesperson expressed disappointment in a recent statement. “We’re disappointed that Free Basics will no longer available in Egypt as of December 30, 2015. Already more than 3 million Egyptians use Free Basics and through Free Basics more than 1 million people who were previously unconnected are now using the internet because of these efforts,” the statement reads.

Free Basics, which is available in 37 countries, aims at helping people in emerging economies connect to the internet. The service offers subscribers access to services such as news and online search. Egypt is the second country to ban Free Basics after India, Facebook’s second largest market outside of the U.S. 

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