Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company would be working hand-in-hand with the United Nations in order to help Syrian refugees connect with the outside world via free Internet while in camps.

Although no specific date has been set yet on when Internet would be made available in U.N. refugee camps, developments with the Facebook-owned Internet.org (now called Free Basics) and the company's Internet-enabling drone are bringing Facebook closer to delivering on the promise of free Internet for all who don't have access to it.

Zuckerberg made the announcement during a lunch hosted by the United Nations Private Sector Forum last Saturday, Sept. 26. In attendance were other business executives and government leaders who came together to encourage the private sector to do its part in helping the United Nations achieve its Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Zuckerberg ackowledged the fact that his agenda in giving free Internet to refugees, and to the four million other people in the world unable to access the Web because they cannot afford computers or smartphones, is not altogether altruistic.

“We all benefit when we are more connected,” he replied when implicitly questioned if he was really only looking out for Facebook's bottom line.

Even prior to this announcement, Facebook has already been making strides toward making Internet free and accessible, especially in developing countries like India.

Through its Free Basics initiative, Facebook partnered with several telecommunications companies all over the globe to offer free access to Facebook and some other websites. This move, originally under the name Internet.org, has garnered criticism about privacy, net neutrality and keeping free Internet available only in what has been called Facebook's “walled garden.”

According to reports, Facebook's huge Boeing 737-sized drone is also underway to bring free Internet to everyone. Although the drone has yet to be launched, it is said to fly on solar power and will be beaming Wi-Fi connections to unconnected parts of the globe.

In order to bring free Internet to refugee camps, Facebook will work with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

"Connectivity will help refugees better access support from the aid community and maintain links to family and loved ones. Facebook is in a unique position to help maintain this lifeline," said Zuckerberg during the U.N. lunch forum.

Be sure to follow T-Lounge on Twitter and visit our Facebook page. 

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.