Facebook founder and chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg, on Thursday announced the launch of internet.org, a global partnership with the goal of making Internet access available to another five billion people.
The founding members of internet.org—Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qual-comm and Samsung—will develop joint projects, share knowledge, and mobilize industry and governments to bring the world online.
Internet.org aims to make Internet access available to the two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected, and to bring the same opportunities to everyone that the connected third of the world has today.
“Everything Facebook has done has been about giving all people around the world the power to connect,” Zuckerberg said.
“For more than 100 years, Ericsson has been enabling communications for all and today more than 6 billion people in the world have access to mobile communications,” said Hans Vestberg, president and chief executive officer of Ericsson.
Currently, only 2.7 billion people—just over one-third of the world’s population—have access to the Internet. Internet adoption is growing by less than 9 percent each year, which is still considered slow.
“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 all those who cannot currently afford it,” Zuckerberg said.
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.
First is making access affordable, where partners will collaborate to develop and adopt technologies that make mobile connectivity more affordable, and decrease the cost of delivering data to people worldwide.
Second is using data more efficiently, where partners will invest in tools that dramatically reduce the amount of data required to use most apps and Internet experiences.
Third is helping businesses drive access, where partners will support development of sustainable new business models and services that make it easier for people to access the Internet.
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 five 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.