In a bid to make Internet available to two-third population of the world who are not online yet, social networking major Facebook today announced the launch of Internet.org -- a global partnership with six other technology giants, namely Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder and CEO, will head the partnership that aims to make Internet access available “to the next 5 billion people”.
The move comes a few weeks after Internet search giant Google announced its ‘Project Loon’, a balloon-mounted Internet access service that is expected to help provide Internet access to rural and remote areas.
On the launch of Internet.org, Zuckerberg said, "For nine years, we've been on a mission to connect the world. We now connect more than 1 billion people, but to connect the next 5 billion we must solve a much bigger problem: the vast majority of people don't have access to the internet.”
"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," he added.
The founding members of Internet.org will develop joint projects, share knowledge, and mobilise industry and governments to bring the world online. It is influenced by the successful Open Compute Project, an industry-wide initiative that has lowered the costs of cloud computing by making hardware designs more efficient and innovative.
According to Facebook, the partners will focus on developing technologies that make mobile connectivity more affordable and decrease the cost of delivering data to people worldwide. This would also include collaborations to develop lower-cost, higher-quality smartphones. They will also work on ways to use less data by improving the efficiency of the apps built and how they can help businesses drive internet access to get people online.