Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has launched a project to bring internet access to the estimated five billion people who currently don’t have it.
“Everything Facebook has done has been about giving all people around the world the power to connect,” Zuckerberg said in a statement. “There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy. Internet.org brings together a global partnership that will work to overcome these challenges, including making internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it.” The group, which also includes MediaTek, Qualcomm, and Opera, plans to marshal the aid of wireless operators and device manufacturers to bring Internet access to the roughly two-thirds of the world’s population who aren’t connected. The group hopes to achieve this by focusing on three goals. Chief among those goals is providing affordable access, including making mobile connectivity more affordable. The group also wants to make more efficient use of data that results in the dramatic reduction in the amount of data needed to run apps and power the Internet.
And it would bring another five billion potential Facebook customers.