Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg forms group to expand Internet access -->
"I'm focused on this because I think it's one of the greatest challenges of our generation," the 29-year-old CEO wrote on his personal Facebook page, where he outlined plans for an industrywide effort aimed at lowering the cost of smartphone service and tackling other business and technical hurdles that stand in the way of delivering Internet access in less developed
parts of the world.
Other members of the coalition include mobile phone manufacturers
The announcement is the latest move by the young tech mogul to establish a leadership role on issues beyond
It's not clear how effective the new effort will be. While the new coalition, dubbed Internet.org, includes some powerful companies besides
Those efforts, like the new organization announced by Zuckerberg, are a mix of altruism and aggressive business strategy.
"Extending Internet access, in an almost costless way, to the next 5 billion people is key for solving all social problems," Yunus said in a statement released by
But such expansion is also important for the future growth of
Expanding access to undeveloped countries will be good business for a variety of companies including Facebook, Zuckerberg acknowledged in a position paper he posted on his Facebook page, while stressing that "everyone will benefit from the increased knowledge, experience and progress we make from having everyone connected to the Internet."
In a separate statement released by
A second goal involves building new tools to make networks operate more efficiently and reduce the amount of data needed to run Internet apps and services, so they can be provided online at a lower cost.
The third calls for creating "sustainable new business models" that provide financial incentives for mobile telecommunications operators to provide services.
In a statement, the organization said it hopes to enlist other tech companies as well as experts from the nonprofit and academic world. It also said it was influenced by the success of the
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