Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, has just announced the launch of internet.org.
The global partnership was forged in order to achieve the goal of making internet access available to the next 5 billion people.
And mobile will play a critical role in this ambitious effort.
“Everything Facebook has done has been about giving all people around the world the power to connect,” Zuckerberg said in a new release introducing the organization. “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.”
Today, 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 considered “slow.”
The goal of Internet.org is 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.
The founding members of Internet.org include Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung. Partners will collaborate to develop and adopt technologies that make mobile connectivity more affordable and decrease the cost of delivering data to people worldwide.
Additionally, these founding companies have a long history of working closely with mobile operators and now “expect them to play leading roles within the initiative.”
“The unfair economic reality is that those already on Facebook have way more money than the rest of the world combined, so it may not actually be proﬁtable for us to serve the next few billion people for a very long time, if ever,” Zuckerberg says. “But we believe everyone deserves to be connected.”