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Zuck, Gates and Bono in ludicrous internet access for world+dog by 2020 bid

UN pledge seemingly ignores UN broadband slowdown report

Two of the world's richest men and Bono* have pledged to help bring internet access to everyone across the planet by 2020.

It comes just days after a UN report warned that broadband growth had sharply slumped, noting that hitting a target of four billion internet users five years from now was "unlikely" to be achieved.

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and moneybags rock star Bono were among the famous names to throw their support behind a call for universal internet access, supported by – yup – the United Nations.

"If we connect the more than four billion people not yet online, we have a historic opportunity to lift the entire world in the coming decades. Those without internet access cannot share their voices online," Zuck said, ahead of talking at the UN in New York.

As The Register reported earlier this week, the UN Broadband Commission – which was set up by the International Telecommunications Union and UNESCO in 2010 – said that global internet usage growth had slowed down.

The ITU reckoned that 3.17 billion people (roughly 43 per cent of the population worldwide) were currently connected to the internet.

But Zuck and chums didn't offer to fling any cash around at this weekend's UN summit.

Meanwhile, on Thursday Facebook rebranded its app to Free Basic Services, after it was heavily criticised for the limited selection of websites it was offering to poor folk in parts of the world where broadband access is virtually non-existent. ®

*Yes, we know.

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