Internet is no longer a luxury now. It has become one of the basic necessities of our lives. With 2.7 billion people using the Internet, there are still five billion of us out there who don’t have access to the world wide web. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder of Facebook, along with half dozen of the world’s technology giants including Samsung, Nokia, Qualcomm and Ericsson have agreed to work with Facebook as partners on the initiative they’re calling Internet.org. Mark Zuckerberg posted a status update on his Facebook Timeline
For nine years, we’ve been on a mission to connect the world. We now connect more than 1 billion people, but to connect the next 5 billion we must solve a much bigger problem: the vast majority of people don’t have access to the internet.
Seems like Zuckerberg is not only looking for leaving a bigger mark this time, but he also wants the share of those 5 billion Internet-less people for his social media giant, Facebook. He further wrote
I’m focused on this because I think it’s one of the greatest challenges of our generation. I’ve attached a rough plan I’ve written outlining the work Facebook is doing to solve this and how our industry can work together to connect the next 5 billion people.
The effort on this huge magnitude is the reflection of how companies want to capture the markets that have been out of their reach.
In its press release, Facebook has identified three key challenging areas that they’d be focusing on.
- Make access affordable: Partners will work on laying down the infrastructure to access the internet in underserved communities. Partner companies will also collaborate on developing lower-cost and higher-quality devices and software specifically designed to work in those countries.
- Using data more efficiently: Partners will develop technoligies and mechanisms to reduce data usage by applications. Development of data compression tools and frameworks to reduce data usage are the main focus of this area.
- Helping business drive access: This area focuses on creating out-of-the-box business models and devising plans to help mobile companies (such as Nokia which is one of the partners in this) tailor devices to be used in such regions. It also includes re-aligining business incentives and coming up with localized operating system and language capabilities.
Facebook and its partners are not the only giants in technology that have dreamt of a connected world (with more profits to them, of course), Google is also reaching for the sky with Project Loon, an attempt to beam Internet access down to earth from plastic balloons floating more than 11 miles in the atmosphere.
The global village of an Earth has shrunk down even further. With more and more people getting access to the amazing world of the Internet, it would certainly bring about positive change for the entire human race.