Mark Zuckerberg Brings Free Internet to Developing Countries

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In 2013, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg started an initiative called “,” which has one clear goal: “Make Internet access available to the two thirds of the world who are not yet connected, and bring the same opportunities to everyone that the connected third of the world has today.”

Zuckerberg has made it clear that he believes connectivity is a human right, as it opens up the global knowledge economy. One of the main problems preventing people from connectivity is poverty.

With, the Facebook founder is bringing Internet access for free or very cheap – with the help of mobile operators in countries around the world – to those who can’t afford it, so that demand will eventually grow, and countries will make building Internet infrastructure a priority.

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After rolling out the project over the last two years, some Indian developers expressed net neutrality concerns over the initially limiting restrictions as to what kind of websites and services could be offered via the initiative, which included news, education, health information, and job boards.

So today, Zuckerberg announced in a Facebook post that he is opening up the platform to developers worldwide.

“Because these services have to be specially built to these specifications, we started by offering just a few. But giving people more choice over the services they use is incredibly important and going forward, people using will be able to search for and use services that meet these guidelines,” a blog post on explained.

To attract a wider range of content, apps and experiences via, Zuckerberg is not only opening up the platform, but is also offering it to developers at no cost. In other words, developers will neither have to pay to be included on the platform nor for the data viewers will use when visiting their sites.

In order to qualify for, content providers will have to follow these three main guidelines:

1- Their service should encourage the exploration of the broader Internet so users discover the entire wealth of online services and, as a result, might consider becoming paying users of the Internet – which, in turn, will help expand the broadband infrastructure and increase Internet speeds in developing countries.

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2- Keep your website simple and data efficient, so that users with low Internet speeds have access to the same amount of information as everyone else. This means you should avoid using VoIP, video, file transfer, high resolution photos, or high volume of photos.

3. Websites have to be optimized for both feature and smartphones as well as limited bandwidth scenarios. In addition, websites must be properly integrated with – read technical guidelines right here.

“More than 4 billion people don’t have access to the internet and the opportunities it brings. If we connect them, we’ll lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

If we want everyone to share the opportunities we have, then it’s our responsibility to bring everyone online in a way that respects an inclusive net neutrality,” Zuckerberg concluded in his Facebook post earlier.



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