Facebook and Reliance Jio’s partnership will benefit micro, small and medium businesses, farmers and small merchants: BFI

Last week, Facebook announced that it is investing $5.7 billion in Reliance Industries’ Jio platforms. Facebook has bought a 9.9 percent stake in Reliance Jio in a multinational-dollar deal.

Experts have lauded the investment saying it “will be a transformational partnership for India”.

Now, the Broadband Forum India (BFI) has also released a note saying that besides benefiting the digital services sector, the Jio-Facebook partnership will especially benefit “over 50 million micro, small and medium businesses, over 100 million farmers, about 30 million small merchants and many millions of small and medium enterprises in the informal sector across India.”

Facebook has invested $5.7 billion in Jio. Image: tech2

As part of the investment, the pact has been signed between Jio Platforms, Reliance Retail, and WhatsApp. BFI says, this deal will not only be leverage for JioMart and WhatsApp, but will also facilitate new businesses by seamlessly connecting consumers and local businesses/shops/kirana stores.

It further says that this partnership is especially relevant in the present circumstances, wherein the COVID-19 pandemic has constrained consumers’ options, severely impacting supply chain and normal business practices.

BIF also addresses the claims in the industry of the deal flouting net neutrality norms. It says “this is erroneous, farfetched and not based on facts. Net Neutrality rules are now unambiguously written into the TSP licences and so they are inviolate. Secondly, the Data Protection framework to guard consumer interests is under process and is shortly expected to come out as a legislated Act. Hence the second fear is also unfounded.”

Additionally, BIF also believes that the partnership will also help the ‘Broadband for All’ initiative by the proliferation of affordable high-quality broadband.

Disclaimer: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd which publishes Firstpost