Facebook CEO starts alliance to widen Web access

Social media giant Facebook and other tech companies have formed a coalition aimed providing cheaper mobile Internet access to people in less developed parts of the world.

Among the members of the alliance are, phone makers Ericsson, Nokia Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co., mobile browser company, Opera and chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. Other large technology firms such as a Google Inc. are not part of the coalition now called Internet.org. The group’s tagline is “Every one of us. Everywhere. Connected.”
 
 

In his personal Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg, the social network’s 29-year-old CEO, said universal Internet access is one of the “greatest challenges of our generation.” He shared his plans calling on business to work towards cutting the cost of mobile phone services and confronting other issues that stand in the way of making Internet services more accessible in poorer nations.

Zuckerberg acknowledged that providing greater Internet access in undeveloped nations will be good for Facebook’s business but he said “everyone will benefit from increased knowledge, experience and progress we make from having everyone connected to the Internet.”

He augmented his post with a position paper and quotes from development work leaders such as Nobel Prize-winning economist, Muhammad Yannus who said in a statement released by Facebook that providing “almost costless” Internet access to the next five billion people is “key to solving all social problems.”

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Earlier this year, Zuckerberg sought to form an Internet industry coalition aimed at influencing immigration and other public policy issues in Washington.

United States-based online technology publication, SiliconValley.com characterized his latest effort as a combination of “altruism and aggressive business strategy” and a move to achieve a “leadership role” in issues outside the U.S.

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