Facebook Announces internet.org: Targets Internet Access for the Next 5 Billion People

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, today announced the launch of internet.org, a global partnership with the goal of making internet access available to the next 5 billion people. 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.

Here’s the link to the newsroom post.

Today, only 2.7 billion people — a little more than one third of the world’s population — have internet access. Even more surprising, internet adoption is growing by less than 9 % each year.

There are more than 5 billion mobile phones in the world, with almost 4 billion feature phones and more than 1 billion smartphones. As smartphone prices come down, many people who currently have feature phones will be able to afford smartphones over the next 5 years. It’s easy to assume that when people get smartphones they’ll also have data access. It’s hard to even think of what it means to have a smartphone without data. But it’s not a given.

Even though projections show most people may soon have smartphones, the majority of them still won’t have data access.This is because, in many countries, the cost of a data plan is vastly more expensive than the price of a smartphone.

Here’s a rough proposal for how internet.org can connect the next 5 billion people, and a rough plan to work together as an industry to get there. It discuss how internet.org and Facebook can make internet access more affordable by making it more efficient to deliver data, how can they use less data by improving the efficiency of the apps they build and how can they help businesses drive internet access by developing a new model to get people online.

The rough plan focuses on three important levers:

Internet.org

  • Making internet access affordable by making it more efficient to deliver data.
  • Using less data by improving the efficiency of the apps and experiences we use.
  • Helping businesses drive internet access by developing a new model to get people online.

On the launch of internet.org Mark Zuckerberg says,

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. 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. – http://on.fb.me/16Jxpod

This rough plan can serve as a blueprint to do to connect the next 5 billion people. The complete white paper can be read here. Is Connectivity A Human Right?

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