There is definitely a place for “free” internet for developing economics and I think there are a lot of different models that can work.
But letting people who have never used internet decide that should they use this “free” service is useless, because be it Google wifi or Free Basics they have no understanding of what they are giving up for the service to be “free”. And I doubt any of us can find a simple way of explaining this to them.
Governments, at least in India, is trying to provide people with free internet launched in a lot of states/cities/town. My home town in UP ( Northern India ) has it, has had it for a year or so. But as with any Government, change is slow, thats where corporations like Google and FB can jump in, work in tandem and figure what works.
Google/FB both have done this in Africa. http://money.cnn.com/2015/10/05/technology/facebook-africa-satellites/
Mozilla foundation is doing it Bangladesh in exchange for viewing an ad.
The onus of steering the discussion in the right direction is somewhat on the people online, instead of just plainly vilifying Facebook for being evil or applauding TRAI for banning it. I’d rather get TRAI to work with them on how to provide free internet to more people across the country,
This is what TRAI should have said instead of just banning Freebasics.
TRAI: “You know what Facebook, your head is in the right place, lets get this done right and together”.