Tech

New survey finds overwhelming support for Free Basics

Over 80% of respondents support the idea of ‘Free access to a set of useful websites on the Internet
About 86% of the internet users support the idea of ‘free access to a set of useful websites on the Internet,’ according to a survey commissioned by Facebook, and conducted by David Binder Research in partnership with the Indian research firm Hansa Research.
“A survey of more than 3000 people in India revealed overwhelming support in favor of allowing Free Basics to be offered across India,” the research firm notes.
When given a basic neutral description of Free Basics (“Free Basics is a service offered on mobile devices that provides free access to a set of useful websites on the Internet”), more than four in five Indians (83%) say that they support allowing Free Basics to be offered in India. Without additional information, one in ten (11%) say they are unsure, and only 6% of all Indians say that they oppose allowing Free Basics in India. After hearing arguments in favor and opposed to the service, support increases further to 86%.
At the heart of the results was awareness of the importance of the Internet in shaping India’s future. A majority (65%) of Indians agreed with the statement that, “A connected India is a stronger India and connecting more people makes India stronger, more informed, and more competitive in the world” and more than half support the Digital India initiative.
Key findings of the survey:

  • More than half of respondents (56%) say it is convincing that access to the Internet “Is a human right and that Free Basics can help to bring Internet to all of India.”
  • Three in five people support the inclusion of Wikipedia, news and sports, Facebook, and 70 other websites (61%); support allowing Free Basics users to access the Internet by purchasing a data pack (62%); support it being provided by Facebook (60%); and support allowing developers to create free versions of their websites (59%). None of these aspects is opposed by more than one in five Indians.
  • Support for free basics is highest among those who are already familiar with the Internet and have benefited from its use.
  • Free Basics offers information about available jobs so people can learn about opportunities to work that is available to them.
  • Free Basics offers information about health and illnesses so that people will always be able to look up diagnoses and other information about their own health.
  • Free Basics users can choose at any time to access the full Internet by purchasing a data pack.
  • Free Basics is an open service that allows any developer to create a free version of their website.

Statistics

  • Internet users: 93% support vs. 5% opposes.
  • Residing in big cities: 95% support vs. 4% opposes.
  • College graduates: 91% support vs. 6% opposes.
  • Earning 40k+ rupees per month: 94% support vs. 2% opposes.
  • Have heard a lot about Free Basics: 92% support vs. 2% oppose.
  • Survey methodology