Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, has launched a new project which aims at making internet access available to the next 5 billion people.
Called Internet.org, the partnership will work to develop joint projects, share knowledge, and mobilise industry and governments to bring the world online.
Founding members from Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung are also all involved.
2.7bn people currently have access to the internet, according to Facebook. The goal od Internet.org is to connect the remaining two-thirds of the world's population to bring everyone the same opportunities that the connected third has today,
"There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy," said Zuckerberg, who has also published a white paper entitled 'Is Connectivity a Human Right?'.
"Internet.org brings together a global partnership that will work to overcome these challenges, including making internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it."
Internet.org will focus on three key challenges in developing countries: making access affordable, using data more efficiently and helping businesses drive access.
The founding companies have a long history of working closely with mobile operators and expect them to play leading roles within the initiative, which over time will also include NGOs, academics and experts.
Internet.org is inspired by the Open Compute Project, an open source initiative launched by Facebook in 2011 to help build cheaper, more efficient computing infrastructure.