Facebook CEO Mark Zukerburg has announced Internet.org - a plan to bring the entire world online (with mobile in mind). Some 2.7 billion people – just over one-third of the world's population - currently have access to the internet and Internet.org wants to bring the internet to the next 5 billion people.
"Everything Facebook has done has been about giving all people around the world the power to connect," Zuckerberg said. "There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy. Internet.org brings together a global partnership that will work to overcome these challenges, including making internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it."
How exactly does Facebook plan to do that? Zuckerburg says Facebook has partnered with Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung to "develop joint projects, share knowledge, and mobilise industry and governments to bring the world online". Given the listed companies that have worked with mobile operators in the past, Internet.org is hoping it can have an influence on the industry.
The goals Facebook hopes to achieve make sense. The first is to make internet access affordable. The seven partners will develop and adopt technologies to make mobile connectivity cheaper, through partnerships and lower-cost, higher-quality smartphones. They will also build tools so that data is used more efficiently, reducing the amount required for daily internet tasks. Lastly, the seven partners plan to support the development of new business models and services that make it easier for people to access the internet.
“Nokia is deeply passionate about connecting people – to one another and the world around them,” said Stephen Elop, Nokia president and CEO. “Over the years, Nokia has connected well over a billion people. Our industry is now at an exciting inflection point where internet connectivity is becoming more affordable and efficient for consumers while still offering them great experiences.
"Universal internet access will be the next great industrial revolution.”
The seven companies don't provided a deadline for when they want the entire world to be connected.