Mark Zuckerberg unveils plan for Internet access for all

6:34 PM, Aug 21, 2013   |    comments
In this Thursday, March 7, 2013 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook wants to get more of the world's more than 7 billion people online through a partnership with some of the world’s largest mobile technology companies. Facebook Inc. announced a partnership called Internet.org on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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SAN FRANCISCO (USA TODAY) -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg late Tuesday announced on his Facebook profile page the formation of a partnership with Samsung Electronics, Nokia, Qualcomm and others to make Internet access available to everyone on Earth.

The group - Internet.org - intends to make the Internet an option for the 5 billion people who don't have it. Only about one-third of the world's population - 2.7 billion - has Internet access.

"Everything Facebook has done has been about giving all people around the world the power to connect," Zuckerberg said in a post on his timeline. "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."

The founding members of Internet.org - which also includes Ericsson, MediaTek and Opera -- will develop joint projects, share knowledge, and mobilize industry and governments to bring the world online, according to Zuckerberg.

Jon Swartz, USA TODAY

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