Facebook’s Zuckerberg to launch global Internet access project

HTC Chief Executive (CEO) Peter Chou and AT&T Chief Executive (CEO) Ralph de le Vega hold HTC First phones showing the new app Facebook Home for Android, with Facebook Chief Executive (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg during a press event in Menlo Park, California. Credit: Reuters
HTC CEO Peter Chou and AT&T CEO Ralph de le Vega hold HTC First phones showing the new app Facebook Home for Android, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Credit: Reuters

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has enlisted Samsung Electronics, Qualcomm and four other companies for a project aimed at bringing Internet access to people around the world who cannot afford it, following efforts by Google.

The project, called Internet.org, is the latest move by an Internet company trying to expand Web access globally. Facebook rival Google is hoping technology, including balloons, wireless and fiber connections, will expand connectivity.

Internet.org, which was launched on Wednesday, will focus on seeking ways to help the five billion people — or two-thirds of the world’s population — who do not have Internet access come online, the company said in a statement.

It added that so far, only 2.7 billion people around the world have Internet access.

The partnership’s potential projects will include the development of lower-cost smartphones and the deployment of Internet access in underserved communities as well as working on ways to reduce the amount of data downloads required to run Internet applications, according to Facebook.

But at least initially, the company appeared to have few details on concrete plans.

In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Zuckerberg said the group had a “rough plan” for achieving its goal. He said the project was not just about making money for Facebook, which has more than one billion members and needs to keep expanding to boost revenue.

Zuckerberg noted that the first billion Facebook members “have way more money” than the rest of the world combined.

While many of today’s Facebook members use the service just to keep in touch with friends, Zuckerberg said future Internet users may have more lofty needs.

“They’re going to use it to decide what kind of governments they want, get access to healthcare for the first time ever, connect with family hundreds of miles away that they haven’t seen in decades,” he told CNN.

Facebook recently reported stronger-than-expected quarterly results due to an increase in advertising revenue from mobile users.

Other players in the Internet.org project include Ericsson, MediaTek Inc, Nokia and Opera Software ASA.

While the list did not include mobile network operators, Facebook that these companies would play a central role.

In June, Google announced it launched a small network of balloons over the southern hemisphere in an experiment it hopes to use to bring reliable Internet access to the world’s most remote regions.

The pilot program, Project Loon, took off from New Zealand’s South Island, using solar-powered, high-altitude balloons that ride the wind at a height of 12.5 miles, or twice as high as airplanes.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…