Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, on Tuesday announced the launch of Internet.org, a global partnership with the goal of making internet access available to the next 5 billion people.
“Everything Facebook has done has been about giving all people around the world the power to connect,” Zuckerberg said. “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.”
At present, only 2.7 billion people—or over one-third of the world’s population—have internet access. The goal of Internet.org is to make internet access to the remaining two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected and to bring everyone the same opportunities that the connected third of the world is experiencing today.
Internet.org’s founding members—Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, and Samsung—will develop joint projects, share knowledge, and mobilise industry and governments to bring the world online, through the help of mobile operators and, eventually, NGOs, academics, and experts. Internet.org is influenced by the successful Open Compute Project, an industry-wide initiative that has lowered the costs of cloud computing by making hardware designs more efficient and innovative.
In order to achieve its goal of connecting the two-thirds of the world who are not yet online, Internet.org will focus on three key challenges in developing countries—making access affordable, using data more efficiently, and helping businesses drive access. By reducing the cost and amount of data required for most apps and enabling new business models, Internet.org is focused on enabling the next 5 billion people to come online.
Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, Samsung, and other partners will build on existing partnerships while exploring new ways to collaborate to solve these problems.
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