Highlights from Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote at Mobile World Congress

February 25, 2014

On Monday, at the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg kicked off the event with a fireside chat with author and journalist David Kirkpatrick. Mark spoke about Internet.org and the importance of making internet access available to the two-thirds of the world not yet connected. Below are a few highlights from Mark’s remarks during the discussion: “Only 2.7 billion people have access to the Internet and it’s growing more slowly than you think. The main cost is not the smart phone; it’s the cost of the data access. We are really not on a path at this point to connect everyone in the world.” “[Internet access] is really important, because connectivity is not an end in itself. It’s what connectivity can bring. There was this Deloitte study that came out the other day that said if you could connect everyone in emerging markets, you could create more than 100 million jobs and bring a lot of people out of poverty.” “More than 80% of people in the world live in a place where there is already 2G or 3G service. The reasons you might not have connectivity is cost, but then also the question of why you would want to spend your money. You have never had access to the Internet so you don’t even know why you would want it. In the US we have 911 to get basic services. Similarly, we want to create a basic dial tone for the Internet. Basic messaging, basic Web information, basic social networking.” “In the Philippines, we have seen the number of users of the internet double. We did that with The Globe in that country. We made services such as Facebook free. Once you make it economical to do that, you can add other services such as Wikipedia. We’ve also worked with Tigo, and they’ve seen growth of Internet users rise by 50%. The early results are extremely promising.” “What we want to do next is have a year-long period to dive into this with folks to show that the model works. And then we could come back here in a year or two and have a more programmatic way to work with carriers.” “We did this hackathon recently with Ericsson where developers could get a feel for what their apps do to the bandwidth requirements. You really come away with empathy for the people you’re serving and how bad the experience can be. It’s about internalizing that empathy.” To read more about the new projects mentioned during today’s fireside chat, visit the Facebook newsroom or Internet.org press page.

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