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October 15, 2014

Internet.org Launches Initiative to Help ‘Connect’ India

With more than a billion people lacking internet access, India is one of the few countries in the world that remains ‘offline’ from the World Wide Web. Global partnership Internet.org is looking to change this by introducing a variety of schemes to help Indians integrate the internet into their daily lives.

The scheme is designed to encourage internet use as an educational tool, supporting underprivileged areas by developing low-cost data delivery that will allow even the poorest users get online. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook is its most high-profile partner, attending the Delhi launch of the new initiative earlier this month. Alongside the likes of Nokia, Samsung and Mediatek, Facebook is working to engage schools, businesses and local developers, raising the profile of the cause.

With nearly 80% of Indians with internet-access browsing via mobile phone, Swedish technology company Ericsson is working on ways to improve connectivity without the need for expensive infrastructure, including technology to boost existing mobile signals indoors. Norwegian firm Telenor is also heavily involved and set to buy Indian offices, making it only the second firm after Vodafone to have a 100% foreign-owned company in India.