Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to expand his free internet programme to Europe during a wide-ranging question and answer session held on the social network.
Discussing his ambitions Zuckerberg said it was his mission to make the web truly ubiquitous by making basic internet services available to ‘anyone who needs to be connected’, extending it beyond the developing world in India, Zambia and Colombia to first world countries in Europe.
Amongst those to contribute was none other than Sir Richard Branson, who logged into the debate to ask: “I share your view that it is crucial to connect the two thirds of the world that don't currently have access to the internet. What do you think will be the biggest benefits of this?"
Zuckerberg responded: “When we talk about connecting the world, most people talk about the clear benefits to all the people who will get internet 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 1bn people we connect, we'll raise more than 100m out of poverty.
"But one thing that we often overlook in this discussion is how everyone who is already connected will benefit from having everyone online.
"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. If you go by the population, almost two-thirds of these entrepreneurs don't have internet access today. 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."
Zuckerberg went on to touch upon some of his other pet projects, notably Oculus Rift a virtual reality headset which Facebook is working to mould into a new communications medium.