Facebook's plan to connect the world to the Internet

Summary:Facebook is partnering with six other companies to expand affordable access to the Internet, but it's not just a humanitarian project.

Facebook is teaming up with global businesses to bring the Internet to the world's five billion people who are currently offline.

The project, Internet.org, brings together seven telecom and tech companies to make access to the Internet more affordable, increase data efficiency, and support business models that improve access.

"Everything Facebook has done has been about giving all people around the world the power to connect," Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. "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."

Details of how exactly this will happen are few, but, just like the Facebook Phone , the goal here feels less humanitarian and more about getting as many people on Facebook as possible. Or as Rebecca Greenfield puts it at The Atlantic Wire, Facebook has "exhausted the connected world and it needs to grow."

Along with Facebook, the other companies involved are Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, and Qualcomm. Where's Google? Don't worry, they have an Internet-for-all plan of their own .

Photo: Flickr/violinha

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation


Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter.

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