17/04/2015 1:33 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Mark Zuckerberg Defends, Says Universal Connectivity And Net Neutrality Can Coexist

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gestures while delivering the keynote address at the f8 Facebook Developer Conference Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has written a post on Facebook defending, in which he says that it lowers the cost of internet access and drives awareness of its value.

His post comes two days after a number of Indian internet companies decided to withdraw their partnership with, to take a stand on the net neutrality debate.

Launched in early 2014, provides free access to a limited number of websites and apps.

In his post, Zuckerberg writes that the service is accessible to 800 million people in 9 countries, and argues that net neutrality shouldn’t be used against economically disadvantaged people from gaining internet access.

In India, Facebook partnered with Reliance Communications to bring a total of 38 services to in February - these included sites like Facebook, Bing and Wikipedia, Indian news and job websites, healthcare, childcare and weather services.

“The internet isn’t affordable to everyone, and in many places awareness of its value remains low. Women and the poor are most likely to be excluded and further disempowered by lack of connectivity.” Zuckerberg wrote.

“ lowers the cost of accessing the internet and raises the awareness of the internet’s value. It helps include everyone in the world’s opportunities.”

Over the past week in India, there has been a lot written about and net neutrality. I’d like to share my...

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, 16 April 2015

Zuckerberg is also responding to concerns raised Facebook users on the post. When asked by only a select bunch of websites are available on, he responded by saying that it is too expensive for mobile operators to make the whole internet free.

SaveTheInternet, a volunteer-run campaign has been fighting for net neutrality in India. All India Bakchod's video which was released on 11th April has seen over 2 million views. The website has sent over 7,50,000 emails in response to a TRAI consultation paper, which has a deadline of April 24th.

More on net neutrality debate:

Contact HuffPost India