Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder and chief executive speaks during a Facebook press event in Menlo Park, California, in this April 4, 2013 file photo. — Reuters Photo

Facebook Inc's Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has enlisted Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Qualcomm Inc and four other companies for a project aimed at bringing Internet access to people around the world who can't afford it, mirroring efforts by Google Inc and others.

The project is called and will be launched Wednesday. It focuses on enabling the next 5 billion people without access to come online, Zuckerberg said.

"The goal of 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," said Zuckerberg.

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

The partnership will develop lower-cost, higher-quality smartphones and deploy Internet access in underserved communities, Facebook said.

Google said in June that it had launched a small network of balloons over the Southern Hemisphere in an experiment it hopes could bring reliable Internet access to the world's most remote regions.

That pilot program, Project Loon, took off in June from New Zealand's South Island, using solar-powered, high-altitude balloons that ride the wind about 12.5 miles, or twice as high as airplanes, above the ground, Google said.

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Comments (2) Closed

K. Shahzad
Aug 22, 2013 11:39am

It would be really nice if we are provided the internet via satellites or some other wireless way. The internet on which local Pakistan government have no control. Because of this unfair censorship lots of Pakistanis are already suffering. Specially that blanket ban on youtube is good for nothing.

People are already accessing youtube using proxies and VPNs, all youtube ban do is prevent us pakistan to login on youtube and prevent us to share our thoughts or our side of story.

Aug 27, 2013 11:03am

The access to information without interferance of local lords would be a real media revolution to most of the countries, also Pakistan.