Facebook founder and CEO pledges to bring internet access to two thirds of the world’s population that are not online
Last Wednesday Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos welcomed Mark Zuckerberg to Bogota Town Hall. On the billionaires first visit to the country he attended a Facebook users Q&A event where he answered questions about free speech, internet connectivity and about Facebook itself.
The 30 year old entrepreneur was in Colombia to launch a free internet application as part of his commitment to bring developing markets online. Colombia is the fourth country in the world and first in Latin America to receive Internet.org which is being rolled out in partnership with Colombian mobile phone provider Tigo.
The mobile app is part of a drive to get low income users online and is available on Android. It allows users to access Facebook and more than a dozen tools including Wikipedia without incurring any data charges. Zuckerberg hopes that the app will spread very quickly as phone operators enjoy the benefits of increased revenue from new customers using the service.
The Facebook founder, who hopes to bring internet access to two thirds of the world’s population that are not online, was also asked about his impressions of Colombia. He told audience members about his interest in Colombia’s extensive biodiversity and of his admiration of Colombian pop star Shakira.
The Internet.org announcement underlines Colombia’s commitment to creating a fast and reliable digital infrastructure; an investment to benefit Colombian citizens, businesses, investors and tourists.