Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sat down with Bloomberg TV’s Emily Chang on Thursday to discuss Internet.org, Facebook’s attempt to bring bare-bones Internet access to people in developing countries.
Zuckerberg compared Internet.org to 911 in the US, in that both are designed to provide necessary services.
“The model that we consider this to be most similar to is 911 in the U.S,” said Zuckerberg.
“So even if you haven’t paid for a phone plan, you can always dial 911, and if there is a crime or a health emergency or a fire, you get basic help, and we think there should be an equivalent of this for the Internet as well — where even if you haven’t paid for a data plan, you can get access to basic health information or education or job tools or basic communication tools, and it will vary, country by country.”
Zuckerberg said Internet.org will sustain itself by bringing new customers to data providers once people learn how to take advantage of what’s online.
“The people understand why they would want to pay for data, and these operators end up making more money, and it ends up being more profitable, and it ends up taking that money and reinvesting that in better Internet and infrastructure for everyone in their country,” he said.
As for how Facebook can increase internet access, Zuckerberg said the company is looking at drones in the “near future,” along with other technologies like lasers and microwaves.
He also said he was happy that Google was exploring other options like weather balloons to bring the internet to the developing world, a program called Project Loon. “Connecting everyone is going to be something that no single company can do by themselves. So I’m really glad that they and a lot of other companies are working on this,” he said. “I’d love to work with Google.”