Did you know that two-thirds of the world is still without access to the Internet? Shouldn’t connectivity be a human right? Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook believes it should be. For the past 10 years, Facebook’s mission has been to make the world a “more open and connected place.” This is why Zuckerberg hopes to make universal internet access possible with the launch of Internet.org, a global partnership between technology leaders, nonprofits, local communities, and experts working together to bring the internet to all.
Zuckerberg explains what true global connectivity means:
For us, that means the entire world — not just the richest, most developed countries. We’ve made good progress, and today we connect more than 1.15 billion people through Facebook each month. But as we started thinking about connecting the next 5 billion people, we realized something important: the vast majority of people in the world don’t have any access to the internet. I’m focused on this because I believe it is one of the greatest challenges of our generation. The unfair economic reality is that those already on Facebook have way more money than the rest of the world combined, so it may not actually be proﬁtable for us to serve the next few billion people for a very long time, if ever. But we believe everyone deserves to be connected.”
The initial technology leaders on board include Facebook, Mediatek, Opera, Samsung, Nokia, and Qualcomm. By sharing tools, resources, and best practices, these leaders are exploring connectivity solutions in three areas of opportunity: affordability, efficiency, and business models.
Internet.org is looking to create technology that will decrease the cost of delivering data globally, improve data compression capabilities to increase network bandwidth, and create cheaper devices to give people more ways to get online. As the United Nations Human Rights Council once wrote, “the internet boosts economic, social, and political development, and contributes to the progress of humankind as a whole.”
According to Internet.org:
Making the internet available to every person on earth is a goal too large and too important for any one company, group, or government to solve alone. Internet.org’s partners have come together to meet this challenge because they believe in the power of a connected world.”
It looks like Google’s Project Loon, also hoping to give Internet access to all, has some competition. Do you think these companies can succeed in bringing everyone in the world online?