Facebook-backed Internet.org launches in India

Facebook is bringing a free slice of the Internet to millions of people in India.

The social media giant’s Internet.org initiative is launching in the world’s second most populous country, it announced on Tuesday, in what will be a major step forward in its push to bring the Web to the two-thirds of the plant without it.

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The organization, which was founded by a number of major tech companies, is launching a mobile application that will allow people to get access to a few dozen news, communications, sports, music and other services.

“This is a big step forward in our efforts to connect everyone to the Internet, and to help people share their ideas and creativity with the entire world,” the organization said. “We’ll continue to improve the experience and roll it out to other parts of the world.”

The Internet.org app had previously only been available in Colombia and some nations in Africa.  

The app won’t be available to all 1.2 billion people in India just yet, however. It’s starting with customers of the service provider Reliance in six states — Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala and Telangana.

Most of the services will be available in seven languages, including English, Hindi and Tamil.