Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg today stressed on the need for bringing down the cost of accessing the Internet in India, as well as developing content locally to get more people connected to it.
In order to achieve its goal of connecting the two-thirds of the world who are not yet online, Facebook will focus on three key challenges in developing countries: making access affordable, using data more efficiently and focus on localising services — working with operating system providers and other partners to enable more languages on mobile devices, Zuckerberg said.
The Facebook CEO said that by reducing the cost and amount of data required for most apps and enabling new business models, Internet.org can enable the next 5 billion people to come online.
“The goal of Internet.org is to make internet access available to the two thirds of the world who are not yet connected, and to bring the same opportunities to everyone that the connected third of the world has today,” Zuckerberg said at the Internet.org summit in New Delhi today.
The Facebook founder unveiled a $1 million fund to encourage developers to develop applications in local content for emerging economies.
“We’ve got a fund of $1 million (Rs. 6 crores approximately) to help developers build and scale apps that will help farmers and migrant workers and students and women, and we’re going to fund top apps in each of these categories.”
He noted that 60 percent of Indians are not online due the lack of services and content in spoken languages. Citing the example of Internet.org’s partnership with Airtel in Zambia, Zuckerberg explained how people can now get access to free basic internet services – tools for health, education, jobs and basic communications.