Facebook is bringing free internet to Zambia with its new app

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If you happen to live in Zambia, then take note of this – there is the Internet.org app from Facebook that will enable users in Zambia to gain free access to the likes of weather as well as health information, jobs, and Google Search, among others. In other words, free Internet! This is definitely worth an effort from the folks over at Facebook for sure. After all, while over 85% of the world’s population live in areas that do have cellular coverage, only 30% of them happen to have access to the Internet. The Internet.org app intends to bridge such a gap, and it will be made available to Airtel subscribers in Zambia first. This would provide limited free Internet access.

It’s well known that access to a telecoms network increases economic growth in places that previously didn’t have a telecoms network. Both because the ability to communicate increases information dissemination and also because it eases the problems of coordination. We expect much the same to happen as mobile broadband reaches out to the poor of the world as well. I’m thus very much a fan of Internet.org, the organisation being pushed by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, to get simple and basic mobile broadband access available, for free, in poor countries to poor people. Said service has just launched in Zambia and it occurs to me, just as an idea you understand, that we might want to try expanding Wikipedia in response. Here’s the basic news:” 85% of the 5 billion people without Internet simply can’t afford data plans. So Facebook’s accessibility initiative Internet.org today launches its Android and web app for the developing world with free data access to a limited set of services including Facebook, Messenger, Wikipedia, and Google Search. It also provides local health, employment, weather, and women’s rights resources.”

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