Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today that Facebook will be entering into a partnership with some of the world’s leading mobile technology companies in an attempt to get more people online. The partnership is called Internet.org and will involve major companies such as Samsung, Nokia, Ericsson, MediaTek, Opera and Qualcomm.
“Everything Facebook has done has been about giving all people around the world the power to connect,” Zuckerberg stated in a press release. “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 access it.”
The group plans to develop cheaper smartphones and tools that would reduce the amount of data to run apps. They ultimately want to give internet access to the 5 million people living without it. The three key challenges the partnership will be focusing on are making access affordable, using data more efficiently and helping businesses drive access.
Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page: “For nine years, we’ve been on a mission to connect the world. We now connect more than 1 billion people, but to connect the next 5 billion we must solve a much bigger problem: the vast majority of people don’t have access to the internet.”
The partnership is not the first initiative Facebook has launched to give people internet access; in 2011, the company released the app “Facebook For Every Phone” which allowed people with non-smart phones to still connect with Facebook.
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