Facebook’s CEO wants to give everyone in Europe free internet.
No, that doesn’t mean free access to the *entire* web, just the basic services instead. But we’ll take it, thank you very much.
During a wide-ranging question and answer session held on the social network, Mark Zuckerberg said how he had plans to expand his free-internet-for-everyone initiative from the developing world in India, Zambia and Colombia to first world countries in Europe.
English businessman and investor best known as the founder of Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson, logged into the debate to ask about the benefits of everyone being connected.
“I share your view that it is crucial to connect the two thirds of the world that don’t currently have access to the internet. What do you think will be the biggest benefits of this?” he asked.
Zuckerberg responded: “When we talk about connecting the world, most people talk about the clear benefits to all the people who will get internet access and don’t have it today. Those benefits are many: access to education, health information, jobs and so on. Many people estimate that for every 1 billion people we connect, we’ll raise more than 100 million out of poverty”.
Zuckerberg also said that connecting people means giving them tools to succeed, and there are a lot of smart people out there who don’t have the means to become successful.
“But one thing that we often overlook in this discussion is how everyone who is already connected will benefit from having everyone online. Think about how many brilliant entrepreneurs there are out there who have great ideas and the will to change the world, but just lack basic tools to do so today. If you go by the population, almost two-thirds of these entrepreneurs don’t have internet access today. Once they get connected, we may have three times as many good ideas and amazing new services built that will benefit everyone around the world”.