People in Afghanistan will get free access to Wikipedia thanks to a tie-up between a local telecom operator in the country and the Wikimedia Foundation. The partnership between Roshan Communications and Wikimedia Foundation will see subscribers of the telecom company getting free access to Wikipedia via their phones for a period of one year, the Independent reports.
The joint initiative, dubbed Wikipedia Zero, has been active in different parts of the world since August 2012 and will launch in Afghanistan later this month.
Users will get complete access to the Wikipedia website including options for searching and editing.
Much like Facebook Zero, Roshan Communications will not charge its users for data usage under Wikipedia Zero. The project is estimated to have reached more than 300 million people across the globe as a result of tie-ups with over 60 operators in 50 countries.
"At Roshan, we are proud to have been leading the efforts to increase access to information," Altaf Ladak, deputy CEO of Roshan, said in a statement. "The partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation expands the frontier of access to information and knowledge, especially for Afghanistan's youth who make up almost two-thirds of the population."
Afghanistan first got internet access after the ouster of the Taliban in 2002. However, the country did not have access to mobile data until 2012. Even last year, only 12% of the country's population had internet access, with just 9% using social media services.