Facebook has been undertaking serious efforts to explain to bloggers, government officials and others how different the Internet.org program is, compared to the now-discontinued Airtel “Zero” program, which would have offered app usage without data fees.
The “Zero” program would have allowed app providers to pay a fee to Airtel in exchange for zero rating customer use of the sponsored apps.
That is nothing like what Internet.org has been doing, where nobody gets paid anything to participate, said Chris Weasler, Facebook global head of spectrum policy and connectivity planning. Internet.org.
App providers do not pay Internet.org, Internet.org does not pay mobile operators who participate, and end users do not pay for use of the apps.
Some, including possibly the Indian government, still consider any form of app sponsorship–with or without any payments–a violation of network neutrality principles of “treating all applications alike.”