June 18, 2019 / 9:01 PM / 4 months ago

Mexican president pitches universal internet in chat with Zuckerberg

MEXICO CITY, June 18 (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he spoke with Facebook Inc’s Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, inviting the social media tycoon to partner with him in a bid to promote universal internet access in Mexico.

Lopez Obrador posted on both Facebook and Twitter a short clip of his video conference with Zuckerberg in which the president notes that a fifth of Mexico’s population does not have internet access and that he would like better connectivity to help improve social conditions, especially among the poor.

“This is a program to communicate, inform, improve education, health at a very low cost,” said Lopez Obrador, who later invited Zuckerberg to participate in an unspecified form of partnership with the government.

Zuckerberg does not speak in the clip, and Lopez Obrador did not give additional details of the partnership beyond suggesting the effort should build on existing infrastructure, especially electricity lines, and that it should not seek to turn a profit.

Representatives of Facebook in Mexico were not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by David Alire Garcia Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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