Facebook’s Internet.org is turning one this week. Connecting everyone in the world isn’t going to happen automatically. Born from Mark Zuckerberg’s dream of a future where the Internet is available to all, this project is making a difference.
Internet.org which is already spreading access to the Web to the developing world, is now targeting new telecommunications allies in the hopes of connecting more people to the internet.
Internet.org wants you
The initiative has already worked with approximately 12 telecom companies to provide basic internet in 17 countries, but expansion is on the agenda. Now, any network provider motivated enough to work with Internet.org can. It’s as simple as contacting the program on their operators page to join a team which is bringing internet access and relevant basic internet services to the unconnected.
“In the past month people using Internet.org accessed health services more than a million times, which speaks to the ultimate goal of Internet.org — helping to make an impact in people’s lives,” project’s representatives wrote.
The value of the Web
In a blog post, they said that by providing people with access to free basic services people across the globe will be able to discover the “value of the internet”. And it’s working.
Internet.org helped accelerating the adoption of the Internet in new users onto mobile networks on average over 50% faster with their free services. More than half of the people who came online through Internet.org pay for data and accessing the internet within the first 30 days, a report shows.
Facebook’s ultimate goal is to make it easier, not only for users in local communities, but also for any developer and mobile operator to create services that integrate with Internet.org.
Bridging the Digital Divide
Most people in the developing world do not use the internet, with access limited by high costs, poor availability and a lack of relevant content, a recent Facebook study conducted in the framework of Internet.org found.
“By early 2015, three billion people will be online. This is an incredible milestone, but it also means that only 40 percent of the world’s population has ever connected to the Internet,” the report said.
In the developed world, some 76 percent of the population is online, but the figure is just 29.8 percent in developing nations, according to the research. These are the numbers behind the company’s commitment to bridge the digital divide.
Facebook is not the only tech-giant investing in this field. Earlier this year, news emerged that Google is set to invest $1bn in a fleet of satellites so that it can beam internet services across the developing world.
Billions of people do not currently have access to the web to get online, have you heard of other initiatives such as Internet.org working towards connecting the globe? Share your views in the comments section below.