Mark Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO of Facebook, today announced the launch of Internet.org, a global partnership with the goal of making Internet access available to the remaining 5 billion people in the world who don’t have it.
The social networking giant has joined hands with partners like Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm & Samsung — to kick start the organization. Internet.org will work closely with NGOs, mobile operators & tech firms to make Internet access more affordable, data more efficient, &d technology cheaper, plus more accessible.
“Everything Facebook has done has been about giving all people around the world the power to connect,” Zuckerberg said. “There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy. Internet.org brings together a global partnership that will work to overcome these challenges, including making internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it.”
The announcement was made on the FB blog. The post read, “Today, only 2.7 billion people – just over one-third of the world’s population — have access to the internet. Internet adoption is growing by less than 9% each year, which is slow considering how early we are in its development.
The goal of Internet.org is to make internet access available to the two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected, and to bring the same opportunities to everyone that the connected third of the world has today.”
In order to achieve its goal of connecting the two-thirds of the world who are not yet online, Internet.org will focus on three key challenges in developing countries:
Making access affordable: Partners will collaborate to develop and adopt technologies that make mobile connectivity more affordable and decrease the cost of delivering data to people worldwide. Potential projects include collaborations to develop lower-cost, higher-quality smartphones and partnerships to more broadly deploy internet access in underserved communities. Mobile operators will play a central role in this effort by driving initiatives that benefit the entire ecosystem.
Using data more efficiently: Partners will invest in tools that dramatically reduce the amount of data required to use most apps and internet experiences. Potential projects include developing data compression tools, enhancing network capabilities to more efficiently handle data, building systems to cache data efficiently and creating frameworks for apps to reduce data usage.
Helping businesses drive access: Partners will support development of sustainable new business models and services that make it easier for people to access the internet. This includes testing new models that align incentives for mobile operators, device manufacturers, developers and other businesses to provide more affordable access than has previously been possible. Other efforts will focus on localizing services – working with operating system providers and other partners to enable more languages on mobile devices.
Image Credit: Facebook