Organisation Formed to Expand Internet Access to the Rest of the World
Facebook, having signed up over a billion of the available 2.7 billion internet connected users around the world is now looking to expand internet access to the remainder of the world's population.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, has announced the launch of internet.org, a global partnership with the goal of making internet access available to the next 5 billion people.
Today, around 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 percent 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.
The founding members of Internet.org -- Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung -- will develop joint projects, share knowledge, and mobilize industry and governments to bring the world online.
Potential projects include collaborations to develop lower-cost, higher-quality smartphones and partnerships to more broadly deploy internet access in underserved communities. Mobile network operators are expected to play a central role in this effort.
The partners will also 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.
Other efforts will focus on localizing services - working with operating system providers and other partners to enable more languages on mobile devices.