Facebook has partnered with a host of major tech firms to launch Internet.org, an initiative to bring the entire world online.
Currently, only 2.7bn people – around a third of the world's population – have internet access, and adoption is growing by less than nine per cent each year.
Internet.org's founding partners – Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung, as well as Facebook – intend to work together to accelerate that process. The organisation is hoping to tackle three issues in particular: making connectivity more affordable, both for providers and consumers; improving the data efficiency of services; and developing sustainable business models for mobile operators, device manufacturers and developers.
“Everything Facebook has done has been about giving all people around the world the power to connect,” said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “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.”