Group backed by Internet giants seeks cheaper access for the poor
ABUJA (AFP) - Accessing the Internet in the developing world is unnecessarily expensive, partly due to government policies that hinder competition and should be scrapped, a new alliance backed by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft said on Monday.
The Alliance for Affordable Internet, which launched in Nigeria's capital, said it will push for an "open, competitive and innovative broadband market" to boost access, especially in Africa, where only 16 per cent of the population is online.
Other members of the alliance include the British and US development agencies, as well as Facebook and the inventor of the World Wide Web, Britain's Tim Berners-Lee.
"There is simply no good reason for the digital divide to continue," he said in a statement, arguing that the infrastructure and technology needed to fully connect poorer countries was increasingly in place.