Meta has decided to end the Express Wi-Fi program!

2 mins read
Meta has decided to end the Express Wi-Fi program!

Meta announced its decision to end its Express Wi-Fi service, which it launched in 2016. Here are the details…

Meta, the umbrella company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, said it had decided to end its Express Wi-Fi program, designed to provide low-cost internet in developing countries through partnerships with local communities, mobile operators and businesses. Here are the details…

Meta pulls the plug on express Wi-Fi service

Express Wi-Fi, released by Meta (then known as Facebook) in 2016, was not free, as was the failed Free Basics program owned by the company, which was rejected by Indian courts for violating net neutrality.

Instead, the company’s Express Wi-Fi was designed to be relatively affordable for developing countries, starting at about 15 cents for 100MB of use or $5 for 20GB of use.

Facebook has partnered with satellite companies, ISP’s and others in places like India, South Africa and the Philippines. Retailers were also able to sell hotspots at reasonable rates set by themselves and the operator, rather than Facebook.

Meta planned to benefit by gaining access to new customers, which it undoubtedly hoped would create Facebook accounts. Because, as with Google, much of the company’s recent growth has come from developing countries, where people are online for the first time.

Recent reports have revealed that glitches in Meta’s free internet services have revealed unwanted fees for users in countries such as Pakistan. The company is also said to support its own content in its Discover free data service, at the expense of other sites.

Meta said it is focusing on other projects related to internet access while ending its Express Wi-Fi service. A company spokesman said in a statement:

As we complete our work on this program to focus on developing other projects, we are committed to working with partners in the telecom ecosystem to ensure better connectivity. We will also continue to work with our partners to minimize the impact on their business while keeping networks running.

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