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Facebook CEO: Let’s Open the Internet to the 60% Without It

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As important as the Internet has become for everything from education to business, only about a third of the world’s population has Internet access. Mark Zuckerberg has a plan to change that.

The 29-year-old CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg announced late Tuesday on his Facebook page a new initiative with six other companies to bring Internet access to those in the world that don't have it.

Of Earth's roughly 7 billion inhabitants, only 2.7 billion have access to the Internet (about 42 percent of which have Facebook profiles), leaving more than 4 billion people without access.

The six companies partnering with Zuckerberg are Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung. Their initiative is called Internet.org, the website of which has a video showing people in undeveloped countries overlayed with the audio of a speech given by John F. Kennedy. The group "will develop joint projects, share knowledge, and mobilize industry and governments to bring the world online," according to a Facebook news release.

Zuckerberg also published an overview of the project titled 'Is Connectivity A Human Right?'

"Everything Facebook has done has been about giving all people around the world the power to connect," Zuckerberg said. "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 project is in line with the mission statement of Facebook, which is "to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected."

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