How Mobile Users in Tanzania Just Scored Free Internet

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg continues to give the gift of the Internet.

October 29, 2014, 2:31 PM
PHOTO: The new app is launching in Tanzania.
The new app is launching in Tanzania.

— -- Mobile users in Tanzania just scored free Internet, thanks to an initiative spearheaded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Following the release of the app is Zambia over the summer, Zuckerberg announced today that the country's northeast neighbors in Tanzania would be the next to gain free access to a host of websites.

Tanzanian users who are Tigo subscribers will get free mobile access to basic services, including AccuWeather, Google, Wikipedia, and of course, Facebook, without incurring any data charges.

The app is part of Facebook’s collaborative initiative, which aims to bring Internet access to the two out of three people worldwide who aren't already online.

According to the social network, 85 percent of the world’s population lives in areas with existing cellular coverage, meaning the lack of infrastructure isn't a barrier to getting new users online.

At the Mobile World Conference in February, Zuckerberg said the biggest barrier to getting people online is “the question of why you would want to spend your money.”

“You have never had access to the Internet so you don’t even know why you would want it,” he said. "In the U.S. we have 911 to get basic services. Similarly, we want to create a basic dial tone for the Internet. Basic messaging, basic Web information, basic social networking.”

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