Facebook’s Internet.org offers free connectivity to millions in India

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Facebook has announced that Internet.org is now available in India, potentially bringing Internet access to tens of millions of new users for the first time.

In a blog post, Facebook said the app, developed in conjunction with Reliance Communications, will bring the Internet to millions of people in the world’s second-most populous country. It will also offer 38 different initial services, including a range of news, music, sports, search (from Microsoft’s Bing), pregnancy information, weather, Internet basics, health, and more.

“Reliance customers in six Indian states (Tamil Nadu, Mahararashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, and Telangana) will now have access to more than three dozen services,” Facebook wrote, “ranging from news, maternal health, travel, local jobs, sports, communication, and local government information.

This is a big step forward in our efforts to connect everyone to the internet, and to help people share their ideas and creativity with the entire world. We’ll continue to improve the experience and roll it out to other parts of the world.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in a post late Monday, wrote that,

“Over the last year we’ve rolled out Internet.org free basic services to countries with more than 150 million people total across Africa and Latin America. More than 6 million people are already connected to the internet who previously weren’t, and we’ve started hearing incredible stories about how the internet is changing lives and communities.

But to continue connecting the world, we have to connect India. More than a billion people in India don’t have access to the internet. That means they can’t enjoy the same opportunities many of us take for granted, and the entire world is robbed of their ideas and creativity.”

Reliance customers in six Indian states (Tamil Nadu, Mahararashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, and Telangana) will now have access to more than three dozen services ranging from news, maternal health, travel, local jobs, sports, communication, and local government information.

Reliance customers in India can access these services in the Internet.org Android app, at www.internet.org, from the start screen of the Opera Mini mobile web browser, and using the Android app UC Browser for Internet.org. Most of the services will be available in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Gujarati and Marathi.[signoff predefined=”Enjoy this?” icon=”users”][/signoff]

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