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Mark Zuckerberg wants millions more people online

Facebook founder eyes developing markets
Wed Aug 21 2013, 10:31
mark-zuckerberg

SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wants to get even more people online and presumably yammering about cats, getting drunk at parties and what they had for lunch.

Zuckerberg, who already has more than a billion Facebook members, has set up a partnership called Internet.org with some other firms and plans to use it to attract nonusers to the internet.

"For nine years, we've been on a mission to connect the world. We now connect more than [one] billion people, but to connect the next [five] billion we must solve a much bigger problem: the vast majority of people don't have access to the internet," he said in a Facebook post.

"I'm focused on this because I think it's one of the greatest challenges of our generation. I've attached a rough plan I've written outlining the work Facebook is doing to solve this and how our industry can work together to connect the next [five] billion people."

Internet.org, which is introduced under the banner question, "Is connectivity a human right?" (PDF) is a "global partnership between technology leaders, nonprofits, local communities and experts". It includes Facebook, Samsung, Nokia, Qualcomm, Mediatek and Ericsson.

How do they propose to close the gap between people and photos of their cats online? By cutting the associated costs. Plans include the development of low cost hardware and more efficient use of data.

"Transmitting data - even a text message or a simple web page - requires bandwidth, something that's scarce in many parts of the world," said the outfit.

"Partners will invest in tools and software to improve data compression capabilities and make data networks and services run more efficiently."

There is a lot of talk about commitment to plans to create a new market for the companies involved, and we are told that developers, mobile operators and device manufacturers will "work together to introduce business models that give people more ways to go online". Lovely stuff. µ

 

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