The story


Mark Zuckerberg wants everybody to have internet access

Founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerburg, yesterday announced, a group that will focus on bringing the internet to the wider world. In a document posted on his social network, a question is posed, asking whether connectivity is a human right.

Facebook’s connected more than 1.15-billion people in its near-10 year existence, accounting for almost half of all connected people (2.7-billion, according to Zuckerberg). Now Facebook wants to connect the remaining 5-odd billion folks who don’t yet have access. If it wants more people to use its social network, it’s gonna need to bring more of the previously-disconnected to the world wide web.

The developing market is where most of that growth will come from – an obvious assumption given that most of the developed world already has access to the web.  Zuckerberg says that Facebook has already invested $1-billion (around R10-billion) bringing internet access to people in the developing world.

The plan for bringing access to more people has three important parts:

  • Making internet access more affordable by making it more efficient for data to be transmitted
  • Making applications and websites more efficient, thus using less data
  • Help businesses drive internet access by developing a new model to get people online

For each of those points the document goes on to explain things in depth, and provides examples.

Meanwhile, the website serves as a public face for Zuckerberg’s visions. It breaks down the mission statement, and shows which partners are on board to help realise the goal. Some big names appear there, including Nokia, Samsung, Ericsson, and Qualcomm. Strangely, the site also has an embedded video – hardly the kind of thing usable for people who don’t have internet access.


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