Social networking giant Facebook has launched its Internet.org app on the Tigo network in Colombia to provide free access to basic Internet services. The app will not allow users to browse all websites, but it will enable access to certain sites that provide online services in jobs, health, finance and communication. The app will also provide access to every government site.
Founded by Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, Internet.org has collaborated with several telecom gear makers around the world, including Samsung, Ericsson, Nokia and Qualcomm.
The goal of the firm is to bring Internet access to everybody, particularly to those who cannot afford the service.
“I just met with the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos. And we announced the launch of Internet.org in Colombia to connect the whole country,” stated Zuckerberg in a press release.
Colombia is the first nation in Latin America and the fourth in the world to receive the service. According to Zuckerberg, only about 50% of Colombians have access to the Internet.
“By partnering with the Colombian government, we’re also able to include e-government services for the first time, for education and agriculture,” he added.
The app, which runs on Google’s Android operating system, gives access to popular sites like Wikipedia, in addition to job listings and health information, as well as Facebook’s own social network and messaging service.
Aware of the fact that their fortune is riding on the success of Internet, both Google and Facebook have been pushing governments around the world to provide Internet access for all citizens, with the argument that online browsing is the “birth right” of every human.
AccuWeather has also issued a statement, saying it too has teamed up with Facebook to provide free information of weather conditions.
Tigo Colombia subscribers can access the Internet.org app through the Google Play Store or by visiting www.internet.org on a mobile browser. The service works on smartphones and feature phones.