Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg has promised to bring free internet to Europe.
Speaking during a Q&A session held on the social network, Zuckerberg pledged to make basic internet connections available to ‘anyone who needs to be connected’.
He claimed that this would move beyond developing countries, eventually rolling out into first world countries in Europe.
Interestingly, Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson joined in with the questioning, asking: “I share your view that it is crucial to connect the two thirds of the world that don’t currently have access to internet. What do you think will be the biggest benefits of this?”
Zuckerberg replied: “When we talk about connecting the world, most people talk about the clear benefits to all the people who will get internet and access and don’t have it today.
“Those benefits are many: access to education, health information, jobs and so on. Many people estimate that for every 1 billion people we connect, we’ll raise more than 100 million out of poverty.”
The Harvard dropout then turned his focus to the business benefits of bringing more of the world online.
According to Zuckerberg, the growth of internet availability will act as a platform for aspiring businesspeople to create new enterprises.
“Think about how many brilliant entrepreneurs there are out there who have great ideas and the will to change the world, but just lack basic tools to do so today,” said the social network mogul.
“If you go by the population, almost two-thirds of these entrepreneurs don’t have internet access today.”
He added: “Once they get connected, we may have three times as many good ideas and amazing new services built that will benefit everyone around the world.”
The Facebook boss talked up his company’s aim to use the Oculus Rift to let people ‘experience everything’ through the headset.