Facebook Announces Plan to Expand Internet Access in U.S.

Oct 12, 2016

Credit David Paul Morris / Bloomberg News

Facebook wants to expand free Internet service in the United States, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

The social media giant is working with rural Internet providers on a program called Free Basics. The initiative would give Americans access to a limited number of websites for free.

Free Basics is actually an app, and its already available in more than a dozen countries. People who download the app are granted access to low-bandwidth versions of Facebook, Wikipedia, Accuweather, and a handful of other sites for no charge.

The struggle now comes with figuring out how to allow Americans access to Free Basics without violating laws around fair competition. Supporters of the project say Internet access in the 21st century is a fundamental human right. Opponents insist it’s just a power move by Facebook.