Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s travels related to Internet.org brought him to Indonesia this past weekend, where he met with President-elect Joko Widodo, and where the social network hosted an Internet.org developer workshop in Jakarta with Ericsson and mobile carrier XL Axiata.
The first-ever Internet.org Summit kicked off in New Delhi, India, Thursday, and highlights included a talk by Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, as well as the introduction of the Internet.org Innovation Challenge, which is aimed at recognizing efforts toward connecting people in India who currently lack Internet access.
The goal of Internet.org – the initiative launched in August 2013 by Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung — is to connect the 4.4 billion people who currently lack access to the Internet, but a mission on such a large scale is not without barriers, and a study released Wednesday by McKinsey & Co., “Offline and Falling Behind: Barriers to Internet Adoption” (embedded below), examines those barriers.
Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg visited India in July, and now it’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s turn, as The Times of India reported that Zuckerberg will speak at the Internet.org summit in New Delhi Oct. 9 and 10.
Facebook Connectivity Lab engineering director Yael Maguire spoke about the social network’s plans to use drones to help connect developing regions to the Internet in a conversation with Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore at the 2014 Social Good Summit in New York Monday.
Andrew Bocking, who led the BlackBerry Messenger effort for BlackBerry before leaving that company in February, joined Facebook as product manager for its recently announced Internet.org application, Re/code reported.
Most companies respond to criticism in the press with statements by executives or spokespeople, but Facebook answered a column in The New York Times by Evgeny Morozov panning its Internet.org initiative to connect the rest of the world to the Internet with comments by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Stanford University School of Medicine Prof. Michele Barry and United Nations Under-Secretary General and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
Zambia may seem like an odd choice for the site of an application’s launch, but it makes perfect sense when the developer of that app has a mission statement of connecting the rest of the world. Internet.org – the global partnership formed last August by Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung to “connect the next 5 billion people” — announced the launch of its app, starting with Airtel subscribers in Zambia.