Facebook Plans To Scale Up Internet.org

A year after introducing Internet.org to the world, Facebook is looking to significantly scale up the program. The company said in a blog post that it is making a major push to get more mobile operators on board in order to provide basic Internet services to users across the globe at no cost.

EUBy providing people with access to free basic services through Internet.org, our goal was to bring more people online and help them discover the value of the Internet -- and itEUs working,EU the company said in the blog post.

Internet.org was first launched a year ago in Zambia to provide basic access to the Internet for people who otherwise would be left on the wrong side of the digital divide. Since that time, Facebook has been working with more than a dozen mobile phone operators in 17 countries.

Demonstrating the Value of the Internet

Despite the ostensibly altruistic goal of Internet.org, Facebook said there was a hard-nose business purpose behind the initiative as well. According to the company, more than half the people who get online for the first time through Internet.org end up paying for data within the first 30 days. In addition, the program brings new users onto mobile networks 50 percent faster.

EUThese points show that Internet.org is not only a successful tool in helping bring people online, but it is successful in showing people the value of the Internet and helping to accelerate its adoption,EU the company said.

Facebook aims to use those statistics to convince mobile operators that the program is a win-win. As part of its push to collaborate with more operators, the company said it has made it easier for mobile phone service providers to join the initiative through a new partner platform that includes technical tools and best practices.

Net Neutrality Concerns

Nevertheless,...

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