Facebook Founder Opened Up About Launching internet.org to Extend Internet Access to Five Billion People
Zuckerberg Talked Criticism and Explained Why He’s Fighting for Immigration Reform
The Full Interview Airs Wednesday, August 21 on CNN’s “New Day”
In a CNN TV exclusive interview, Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained the importance of internet.org, his new global collaborative initiative, and how it is addressing “one of the biggest problems” of his generation. The entrepreneurial mogul announced today the launch of a partnership aimed at extending Internet access to five billion people in the next 10 years. In the interview with “New Day” Anchor Chris Cuomo, Zuckerberg also spoke candidly about the public’s criticism of him and Facebook’s IPO, as well as, his passion for comprehensive immigration reform regardless of the potential impact on business.
CNN will air Chris Cuomo’s full interview with Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, August 21 on “New Day” at 6 a.m. ET. The interview will play on CNN and CNN International throughout the day.
Zuckerberg told Cuomo that while many Americans use the Internet to share and connect, people in developing parts of the world, such as India and Africa, will be able to “decide what kind of government they want; get access to healthcare for the first time ever…” with Internet access. He feels that empowering underserved communities with the Internet will provide access to education and jobs. Facebook has already invested over one billion dollars connecting people in developing nations.
Facebook is teaming up with other founding members Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung to connect the rest of the world that cannot afford Internet access or do not have the infrastructure, hardware or technology to support it.
Internet.org founding members are setting out to make Internet access affordable, use data more efficiently and help businesses drive access. Zuckerberg told Cuomo that there is a “rough plan” for the companies to create joint projects, share information and encourage governments, mobile operators, NGOs and academics to join the cause. To get started, Zuckerberg said “everyone who has a phone or a smartphone'” has to get good data access and then the challenge will be getting phones to those who don’t have them yet.
When Cuomo asked Zuckerberg how it’s possible for Facebook to partner with companies that are considered competition, he replied, “No one company or government can solve this problem by themselves” and that he’s “grateful” the companies are working together. Zuckerberg said partnering with some organizations was more difficult than others.
Zuckerberg denied that the main purpose of launching internet.org is to gain more customers and generate increased profits. “This is much more about our mission, than making any kind of profits in the near-term,” he said. “I mean the reality of the world economy is that… if we really just wanted to focus on making money, the first billion people who are already on Facebook have way more money than the next five or six billion people combined.”
Later in the interview, Cuomo asked Zuckerberg if it’s been difficult to weather the criticism over Facebook’s IPO. Zuckerberg expressed that it’s best to stay focused on making “the biggest impact” by “building something great” over time, especially “when you hit the bumps.” Zuckerberg added, “You’re going to have periods where people think you’re better than you are, and periods where people think that you’re worse than you are.”
Recently, Zuckerberg’s advocacy group FWD.us embraced comprehensive immigration reform. He told Cuomo that he has “always cared really deeply about education,” and immigration “is too important of an issue for the country” to worry about the politics being bad for business. He said connecting the five billion more people with internet.org and helping 11 million undocumented people will “improve and make the country stronger.” On undocumented kids living in the country, Zuckerberg said, “There’s no difference between these kids and they all deserve an equal opportunity.”
Check out CNN.com and CNNMoney to read more about Chris Cuomo’s interview with Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s announcement on internet.org.
Cuomo is the anchor of CNN’s morning show “New Day” with Kate Bolduan and News Anchor Michaela Pereira. Joining CNN in 2013, he has helped lead coverage on all major news stories, including the Boston marathon attacks, George Zimmerman trial, papal conclave and State of the Union address. The award-winning anchor and correspondent came from ABC News where he anchored “20/20” and “Good Morning America.”
CNN Worldwide is a portfolio of two dozen news and information services across cable, satellite, radio, wireless devices and the Internet in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Domestically, CNN reaches more individuals on television, the web and mobile devices than any other cable TV news organization in the United States; internationally, CNN is the most widely distributed news channel reaching more than 271 million households abroad; and CNN Digital is a top network for online news, mobile news and social media. Additionally, CNN Newsource is the world’s most extensively utilized news service partnering with hundreds of local and international news organizations around the world. CNN is a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company.