In one of its first steps towards providing internet access to the world, Facebook is soon to be an internet provider to the African country Zambia.
The internet service will go through a new app called Internet.org. Announced on Thursday by Facebook, the app will give free basic internet service to different places across the globe that have not traditionally had access to the web.
“With this app, people can browse a set of useful health, employment and local information services without data charges,” explained Guy Rosen, Product Management Director, in a blog post on Internet.org. “By providing free basic services via the app, we hope to bring more people online and help them discover valuable services they might not have otherwise.”
Rosen also explained in the post that only 30 percent of the world’s population has internet access, something that may be hard to believe for today’s tech savvy American citizens. Facebook’s goal is to increase that percentage exponentially.
The Internet.org app will be debuting first in Zambia, a country in Africa. It will allow users of the local wireless carrier Airtel to access a certain number of sites without paying data charges. Some of these sites and apps include: Facebook, Wikipedia, Google Search, and a weather service.
This follows Facebook’s announcement earlier in the year that it was investing some $60 million in drone technology in order to bring the internet to all parts of the world. Although right now Facebook is only focusing on Zambia, it plans on expanding its reach to include many other countries around the globe that typically do not have access to the web.
For more information, go to Internet.org.