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Mark Zuckerberg on a Future Where the Internet Is Available to All
The Facebook Chief Writes That Connecting Everyone on the Planet to the Web Can Create Opportunity and Reduce Poverty
July 7, 2014 3:44 p.m. ET

There have been moments in history where the invention of new technology has completely rewired the way our society lives and works. The printing press, radio, television, mobile phones and the Internet are among these. In the coming decades, we will see the greatest revolution yet, as billions of people connect to the Internet for the first time.

Today, only a little more than one-third of the world is connected—about 2.7 billion people. It's easy to take the Internet for granted and assume most people will soon have the access and opportunity we have, but that just isn't the case. Connecting everyone is one of the fundamental challenges of our generation.


A common belief is that as more people buy smartphones, they will have data access. But that isn't a given. In most countries, the cost of a data plan is much more expensive than the price of the smartphone itself. For example, an iPhone with a two-year data plan in the U.S. costs about $2,000, where $500 to $600 is for the phone and about $1,500 is for the data.

イオンの格安スマホはまさにこの問題への対応の一つだと言えますが、ザッカーバーグが提言するのは、緊急電話である911に電話料はかからないようなfree basic Internet servicesという発想です。携帯電話網は世界の90%をカバーしているのでこれを利用して提供することを提言しているのです。

Efforts like Internet.org—a global partnership founded by Facebook and other technology leaders—are already under way to solve this by working with operators to provide free basic Internet services to people world-wide. Our society has already decided that certain basic services over the phone should be free. Anyone can call 911 to get medical attention or report a crime even if you haven't paid for a phone plan. In the future, everyone should have access to basic Internet services as well, even if they haven't paid for a data plan. And just as basic phone services encouraged more people to get phones, basic Internet services will encourage many more people to get a data plan.

If these efforts work, we can expect to connect billions of people within the next decade—and this will transform their lives and communities.


A recent study by Deloitte found that expanding Internet access in developing countries would create 140 million jobs and lift 160 million people out of poverty, and that this newfound opportunity would even meaningfully reduce child-mortality rates. Across sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America, the Internet will help drive human progress.

Perhaps the most important change might be a new global sense of community. Today we can only hear the voices and witness the imaginations of one-third of the world's people. We are all being robbed of the creativity and potential of the two-thirds of the world not yet online. Tomorrow, if we succeed, the Internet will truly represent everyone.

Nothing about this future is guaranteed. The coming years will be a battle to expand and defend the free and open Internet. Our success will determine how far this vision of a connected world can go. Connecting the world is within our reach, and if we work together, we can make this happen.