Published On: Sun, Jul 20th, 2014

Facebook Leading Effort Bringing Internet Access to the Other Half

Zuckerberg says Internet access is growing at a rate of 9% worldwide.


Mark Zuckerberg
The world’s largest social media company is looking to take advantage of the more than 1 billion potential customers in India. This according to statements made by Facebook’s VP of growth and analytics Javier Olivan at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen last week.

Olivan said “We have a big responsibility to try to solve the killer app they want to use first, to create a set of free basic services that you get when you get connected.”

“Studies show that connectivity helps with GDP. From an economic perspective it seems to be a good thing.”

In order to achieve that goal, Facebook has created Internet.org, an organization dedicated to bringing Internet access to the billions in third world countries who still have none. Facebook is partnering on this project with Ericsson, which is helping in the creation of an “innovation lab, ” to be located at Facebook’s Menlo Park, CA headquarters. The lab will work on international growth of Internet access.

Facebook is working with the Philippines, and has seen an increase in users in Indonesia, where it now boasts 69 million members.

Earlier this month, Marc Zuckerberg posted an open letter in the Wall Street Journal, in which he said that today only a little more than one third of the world has Internet connections, suggesting that “Connecting everyone is one of the fundamental challenges of our generation.”

Internet.org declares that it is a global partnership dedicated to making affordable internet access available to the two thirds of the world not yet connected.

Zuckerberg says Internet access is growing at a rate of 9% worldwide.

Mr. Javier Olivan serves as Vice President of Growth, Engagement and Mobile Adoption at Facebook, Inc. He joined Facebook as Head of International Growth in 2007. In this role, he was responsible for Facebook’s international efforts, setting strategy and driving the growth of Facebook’s user base across the globe through product, marketing, and internationalization initiatives.

Mr. Olivan’s role has since expanded to also overseeing all product analytics, mobile adoption and user engagement worldwide.

Before Facebook, Mr. Olivan was Product Manager at Siemens Mobile, where he led a cross-functional team charged with the development and market launch of handset devices.

He has an MBA from Stanford University and master’s degrees in both electrical and industrial engineering from the University of Navarra.

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