Whether you love him or hate him, Mark Zuckerberg has made a difference to all our lives with Facebook. And his new initiative, Internet.org is of no exception. His mission – to bring Internet access to everyone.
Let’s start with a fact: 2.7 billion of us have access to the Internet. We surf, socialize, and shop. It’s a part of our lives and if we lost it tomorrow, then we’d surely miss it. I know I would. In fact, there was a power-cut last night whilst I was online and I didn’t know what to do. But after an hour or so, it came back on and my life was restored.
However, what if you’re one of the two-thirds of the world’s population that doesn’t have access to the Internet at all? Chances are you’ve never heard of the “Internet” and have probably have no reason to miss it – you can’t miss what you don’t have, right? But Mr. Zuckerberg’s plan, through Internet.org, is to revolutionize this. His goal is to create a world where everyone is connected. But this is clearly easier said than done – something which Zuckerberg is aware of,
“There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy”, he quoted in an official statement announcing the launch of Internet.org on Tuesday (August 20). But the Facebook founder plans on bringing “together a global partnership that will work to overcome these challenges…making Internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it.”
Partners of Internet.org who “believe in the power of a connected world”, so far include Facebook (obviously), Ericsson, MediaTek, Opera, Samsung, Nokia, and Qualcomm. Together their collective mission is to make Internet access affordable, invest in tools and software to improve data efficiency, and introduce business models that will allow people easier access to go online.
The content on the current website is a little sparse, but it does provide a general overview of the Internet.org project including their “Connect The World” video. However, over the next few weeks and months the website will provide more information on Internet.org’s activities and interviews with technology leaders and experts.
But for now, you can follow the conversation on Twitter: #ConnectTheWorld.