Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg launches Internet.org, says internet connectivity a human right

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is on a two-day visit to New Delhi, launched the global Internet project called internet.org in the country. The project, which was globally announced in August last year, aims to bring Internet connectivity to the two-thirds of the global population that is not connected.

The founding members of internet.org are Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung.

“These founding companies have a long history of working closely with mobile operators and expect them to play leading roles within the initiative, which over time will also include NGOs, academics and experts as well,” according to a statement by Facebook earlier in August 2013.

Appreciating India’s Mars mission Mangalyaan, Zuckerberg said, “After this achievement, it is now important for the country to connect all of its people to the Internet. With Internet.org we aim to connect rural India to Internet. In India, about 243 million people are connected to the Internet and 100 million of that uses Facebook. However, there are more than a billion people in the country who are still not connected. We want to change that with this project.”

Internet.org is also influenced by Open Compute Project, an industry-wide initiative that has lowered the costs of cloud computing by making hardware designs more efficient and innovative. The internet,org aims to develop ‘joint projects, share knowledge, and mobilize industry and governments to bring the world online.’

“Internet connectivity can be now considered as a human right,” said Zuckerberg, who would meeting Prime Narendra Modi on Friday. Zuckerberg further stated that just lowering the price of smartphones or data plans is not a sustainable solution to the long term problem of connectivity.

The Facebook co-founder said the the social networking giant, is working extensively in rural India to enhance connectivity and in this connection he is meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.

“India is an amazing country with unlimited potential. It is a place of big ambitions and Facebook is deeply committed to the country. We see lot of growth for us here. Tomorrow I’m meeting the Prime Minister.

He is committed to connecting villages with the digital world and we are excited to see how Facebook can help,” Zuckerberg said here.

India has about 243 million Internet users and have 100 million plus Facebook users, but there are over a billion people in the country who do not have access to the net, he added.

Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is creating a $1 million fund to help developers develop apps for farmers, migrants and women. This will be a contest to drive new apps and services in local languages.

FacebookIndia visitinternet connectivityMark Zuckerberg
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