LA PAZ – U.S. based social networking site Facebook signed an agreement on Thursday with a private telephone company in Bolivia to launch its project Internet.org, aimed at promoting internet access for people with limited resources.
The agreement was signed in Santa Cruz, in eastern Bolivia, by Facebook’s Business Development Manager for Latin America, Sergi Herrero, and Viva telephone company’s CEO Juan Pablo Calvo.
Internet.org is a Facebook initiative that allows cell phone users to access certain online services without incurring extra charges.
The project is already underway in Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Colombia, Ghana, India, Philippines, Guatemala, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malawi, Pakistan and Senegal.
According to Viva, Bolivia is the third Latin American country to join the initiative.
The telephone company currently has 2.5 million users who will benefit from this project, Pablo Calvo told Efe.
According to him, 47 percent of the Bolivian population does not have internet access, and his company wanted to contribute towards democratizing technology use through this project to “help improve the quality of life of the people.”
“We want democracy in telecommunications, digital inclusion in Bolivia and we believe this is an interesting and important way to make it happen,” Calvo said.
According to Herrero, Internet.org is a “social inclusion program” that guarantees internet access to “two-thirds of the world’s population.”
“We believe this is the best way to generate growth, employment and progress in countries,” he added.
In Bolivia, Internet.org will give access to some 20 internet sites, including Facebook, news, medical information and weather reports.