Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has invested more than US$1 billion in a project that will enable a huge portion of the global population to get connected via the internet for the very first time.
In an exclusive interview with CNN, the tech mogul said: “We want to make it so that anyone, anywhere – a child growing up in rural India who never had a computer – can go to a store, get a phone, get online, and get access to all of the same things that you and I appreciate about the Internet.”
Dubbed as internet.org, the campaign will allow nearly five billion people without internet access to surf the world wide web. Not only will this move allow them to be connected with relatives living afar, but it will also give them access to health benefits and the chance to shape the future of their country.
At present, over 4.5 billion of Earth’s seven billion people cannot go online, revealed a report from the World Bank. The largest gaps are in Eritrea, where only 0.8 per cent have internet access, Timor-Leste (0.9 per cent) and Myanmar (1.1 per cent). 19 per cent of Americans cannot surf the web.
Comparatively, Facebook has one billion users from across the globe.
Given that internet access is now considered by many to be a right, this initiative aims to create a much better world, where everyone has the “same ability to share their opinions and speak freely,” Zuckerberg noted.
Considering that the project’s goal is extremely ambitious, Facebook has teamed up with other tech giants such as Nokia, Samsung and Qualcomm.