News / USA

Facebook-Led Project Seeks Global Internet Access for All

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder and chief executive introduces 'Home' a Facebook app suite during a Facebook press event in Menlo Park, California, April 4, 2013.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder and chief executive introduces 'Home' a Facebook app suite during a Facebook press event in Menlo Park, California, April 4, 2013.
Reuters
Facebook Inc's Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has enlisted Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Qualcomm Inc and four other companies for a project aimed at bringing Internet access to people around the world who cannot afford it, following efforts by Google Inc .
 
The project, called Internet.org, is the latest move by an Internet company trying to expand Web access globally. Facebook rival Google is hoping technology, including balloons, wireless and fiber connections will expand connectivity.
 
Internet.org, which was launched on Wednesday, will focus on seeking ways to help the 5 billion people - or two-thirds of the world's population - who do not have Internet access, come online, the company said in a statement.
 
It added that so far, only 2.7 billion people around the world have Internet access.
 
The partnership's potential projects will include the development of lower-cost smartphones and the deployment of Internet access in underserved communities as well as working on ways to reduce the amount of data downloads required to run Internet applications, according to Facebook.
 
But at least initially, the company appeared to have few details on concrete plans.
 
In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Zuckerberg said the group had a “rough plan” for achieving its goal. He said the project was not just about making money for Facebook, which has more than 1 billion members and needs to keep expanding to boost revenue.
 
Zuckerberg noted that the first billion Facebook members “have way more money” than the rest of the world combined.
 
While many of today's Facebook members use the service just to keep in touch with friends, Zuckerberg said future Internet users may have more lofty needs.
 
“They're going to use it to decide what kind of governments they want, get access to healthcare for the first time ever, connect with family hundreds of miles away that they haven't seen in decades,” he told CNN.
 
Facebook recently reported stronger-than-expected quarterly results due to an increase in advertising revenue from mobile users.
 
Other players in the Internet.org project include Ericsson, MediaTek Inc, Nokia and Opera Software ASA.
 
While the list did not include mobile network operators, Facebook that these companies would play a central role.
 
In June, Google announced it launched a small network of balloons over the Southern Hemisphere in an experiment it hopes to use to bring reliable Internet access to the world's most remote regions.
 
The pilot program, Project Loon, took off from New Zealand's South Island, using solar-powered, high-altitude balloons that ride the wind about 12.5 miles (20 kilometers), or twice as high as airplanes, above the ground.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid