Facebook’s Zuckerberg plans free internet for all, even Europe

mark-zuckerbergFacebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is considering extending the company’s free internet plans through Internet.org and bringing internet access to the entire planet, including the more developed area of Europe.

Zuckerberg revealed the intention during an hour-long question and answer session on his Facebook page. He was also questioned about in-Facebook payments and his working hours.

Zuckerberg, who puts in 50 to 60 hours a week at the office, was asked about free internet organisation Internet.org, and how a service that offers connections in hard to reach areas fits in with the net neutrality debate.

“I think net neutrality is important to make sure network operators don’t discriminate and limit access to services people want to use, especially in countries where most people are online,” he said.

“For people who are not on the internet, though, having some connectivity and some ability to share is always much better than having no ability to connect and share at all.

“That’s why programmes like Internet.org are important and can co-exist with net neutrality regulations.”

Zuckerberg explained that Facebook wants to bring Internet.org services to anywhere that has people who need to be connected, and this will eventually include Europe. In response to a question about whether Facebook is Mark “planning to expand the Internet.org project even in Europe?”, Zuckerberg replied: 

“Yes, we want to bring Internet.org everyone where there are people who need to be connected. We’re starting off by prioritising the countries with the most unconnected people and by working with network operators and governments who are most excited about working with Internet.org to get everyone online in their countries,” he said.

Entrepreneur Richard Branson turned up during the discussion to get Zuckerberg’s view on the benefits of increased global access.

“Hi Mark. I share your view that it is crucial to connect the two thirds of the world that don’t currently have access to the internet. What do you think will be the biggest benefits of this?” he asked.

Zuckerberg said that the real win is that the internet will be bigger and more full of opportunity.

“Think about how many brilliant entrepreneurs there are out there who have great ideas and the will to change the world, but just lack basic tools to do so today,” he replied.

“If you go by the population, almost two thirds of these entrepreneurs don’t have internet access today. Once they get connected, we may have three times as many good ideas and amazing new services built that will benefit everyone around the world.”

Zuckerberg also provided more information about Facebook’s Messenger chat application, saying that users will soon be able to transfer money via the service.

“We’ve already started rolling this out as part of Messenger. You can send money to someone just like you’d send them a photo, sticker or voice clip,” he added.

“We’re going to roll this out more widely soon, and it’s an area I’m very excited about expanding over time.”

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15 April 2015 | 3:17 pm – Source: v3.co.uk

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