Zuckerberg said that he will be informing Modi about the Facebook initiative - 'internet.org' - which aims to make Internet access affordable for people across the globe. Focused on enabling access to the next five billion people still without Internet, the founding members of the project include Facebook, Ericsson, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung. The partners are collaborating on developing lower cost, higher quality smartphones and enlarging Internet access in poorly served communities.
The initiative has succeeded in connecting 3 million people to the Internet. Zuckerberg announced that the company will launch a million dollar fund for those developers whose online apps help farmers, migrant workers and women. He further said that the company was looking at partnering with telecom players to put up infrastructure like satellites to beam internet to far flung areas.
He also pointed at the company's initiative in Zambia where it has tied-up with Airtel to provide free basic internet services on health, education and jobs. "We are trying these initiatives in smaller countries like Zambia and building up successful cases to show the telecom operators in bigger countries like India that this could work even in India," he said.
According to Zuckerberg, the next big internet usage leap would come if telecom providers and other stakeholders come up with a free basic internet plan for mobile phones, where customers can access the net for basic information like health, education and jobs by dialling a fixed number like 911 or 100. On his company's business plans for India, he said that its focus would be on providing local language based content. The company currently has three offices in India and is on a hiring spree.