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Mark Zuckerberg: Internet connectivity is a human right

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is forming a coalition with the goal of bringing Internet access to more people, especially in the developing world. The group is called Internet.org, and in a report published with the launch today, Mark Zuckerburg declared connectivity a human right.

The problem? Only a-third of the world is connected. Neil Begley with Moody’s Investors service, says right now, the primary obstacle is affordability. To make connectivity affordable on smartphones, Facebook is working with Qualcomm and Samsung -- among others -- to attack technical issues.

The coalition is looking at “conservation of power, so that battery life is improved, [and] data usage, so that less data that needs to be transmitted in order to get access to the Internet,” Begley says.

Facebook’s efforts aren’t entirely altruistic, says Rick Summer, an analyst at Morningstar. He says tech companies have to find growth as markets in the West mature.  

We’re at the point where we’re looking at much slower growth in terms of the number of users, in terms of additional time being spent on the Internet,” Summer sayes

He adds, Internet.org dovetails nicely with Facebook’s primary business mission, pursuing growth.  

About the author

Queena Kim covers technology for Marketplace. She lives in the Bay Area.

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