Today in Barcelona, Mark Zuckerberg will be kicking off GSMA’s Mobile World Congress with a fireside chat. Among the topics he will discuss are the efforts of Facebook and Internet.org partners to bring the internet to the two-thirds of the world’s population not yet connected. His session will take place at 5:00 PM GMT and can be viewed live here.
Over the past several months, Internet.org has been working on the following new projects and partnerships that aim to better understand and address the barriers to extending internet access and connecting the next 5 billion:
Value of Connectivity
On behalf of Internet.org, Facebook engaged Deloitte to study the impact internet access can have on economic and social conditions in the developing world. Released today, Value of Connectivity includes compelling findings in support of closing the connectivity gap. The report found that by expanding internet access in developing countries to levels seen today in developed economies, we could increase productivity by as much as 25 percent, generating $2.2 trillion in GDP and more than 140 million new jobs, lifting 160 million people out of poverty.
Read the full report here.
Internet.org today announced SocialEDU, a pilot project that will provide students in Rwanda with free access to a collaborative online education experience. Internet.org members Facebook and Nokia worked with the Government of Rwanda, Airtel and edX on a program to give students access to free, high-quality, localized educational content via low-cost smartphones.
Read more about SocialEDU here.
Internet.org Innovation Lab
Facebook and fellow Internet.org member Ericsson announced the Internet.org Innovation Lab, an Ericsson-Facebook collaboration that will give developers the ability to test their apps in real world environments at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters. Born from a recent Facebook/Ericsson-hosted Internet.org efficiency hackathon, the Internet.org Innovation Lab will simulate network conditions typically found in growth markets, giving developers an environment to test and optimize their applications for new customers across different regions.
Read more about the Internet.org Innovation Lab here.
Understanding Barriers to Internet Access in India
Unilever and Internet.org have joined forces to better understand and address the barriers to internet access for millions across rural India. Together, Unilever and Internet.org will conduct in-depth research to examine the challenges surrounding internet adoption in rural communities and will leverage this research to inform the development of a series of on-the-ground projects.
Read more about our partnership here.