We shouldn’t just build faster Internet for rich people: Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has lamented the mobile industry’s tendency to focus exclusively on the next big thing.

By - February 22, 2016 Share on LinkedIn
Facebook CEO Zuckerberg listens to a question after introducing a new feature called "Graph Search" during a media event at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park

The founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has said that the mobile industry shouldn’t only focus on delivering better Internet services to those already connected.

Speaking at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, Zuckerberg said that unless something changes, almost half of the world will still be unconnected by 2020.

Zuckerberg was referring to Facebook’s new State of Global Connectivity report, which found that if the industry remains on its current trajectory, 3 billion people still won’t have Internet access in 2020.

While Facebook has initiatives through Internet.org to provide access to under-serviced areas around the world, Zuckerberg said the mobile industry should not focus exclusively on 5G and ignore the unconnected.

He lamented the industry’s tendency to focus on the latest-and-greatest new technology, remarking that where the previous tech generation focused on faster connections for people, 5G seems more about connecting things.

5G is an important thing, it just shouldn’t be the only thing

Zuckerberg said that better machine-to-machine communication is important, though. Facebook needs it so people can easily share 360-degree video and virtual reality content online.

However, he said the industry should also direct its efforts at providing everyone in the world with Internet access.

He said it shouldn’t just be about providing faster Internet for rich people.

“I hope we finish the job of providing Internet access for everyone,” said Zuckerberg.

Jan Vermeulen is a guest of Samsung at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona.

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