In late 2014, an initial roll out of 10 Free Internet Zones (FIZ) enabled the groundbreaking work to begin in rural Limpopo, allowing more than 11 000 people to access high speed internet for the first time. Facebook Free Basics provided free, unlimited access to important and essential resources on the internet, facilitating access to education, health and employment opportunities that users would otherwise not have.

The 2016 deployment had 40 sites go online, and transitioned from the initial Free Basics provision to include the Express WiFi offering. The Express WiFi model put a local reseller or entrepreneurial agent at the centre of a user’s interaction with the connected world.