Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg: 'We Can Connect Billions of People in the Next Decade'

Jul 08, 2014 03:46 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal as a reminder that only a third of the world is connected through the Internet, something that Internet.org and other efforts are working to change.

"Connecting everyone is one of the fundamental challenges of our generation," Zuckerberg wrote, adding that wireless connection not only allows people to connect with friends and family, but also gives countries a chance to be a force in the global economy.

"Access to online tools lets people use information to do their jobs better and in turn create even more jobs, business and opportunities," he wrote. "The Internet is the foundation of this economy."

While having the Internet as a resource is considered a modern staple, growth in Internet use is expanding by less than 9 percent each year. According to the op-ed, nearly 90 percent of the world's population is already close to an existing wireless network, but people aren't connected because Internet isn't affordable enough.

More people own smartphones, but as Zuckerberg points out, data plans can come at a higher price than the device itself, which is why Internet.org and other initiatives are working to support basic Internet services worldwide.

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

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