Internet.org is Mark Zuckererg’s initiative to provide free internet access to people in the third world and developing countries. It is a project to get everybody on the internet with little or no cost. Launched on 20 August 2013, internet.org was founded by seven companies – Facebook, Samsung, Nokia, Opera, Ericsson, MediaTek and QUALCOMM. As you can see, the group is composed of wireless networking tech giants, top mobile phone manufacturers, a renowned memory chip maker and creators of the top mobile browser – Opera.
It is estimated that about two-thirds of the world is not connected to the internet, and as a result this population misses out on the opportunities provided by the internet. According to Mark Zuckerberg, the prohibitive costs of setting up the infrastructure needed for internet access is one of the obstacles to providing internet in developing countries and remote areas.
Internet.org aims to solve this problem by developing technologies that are cost-effective, efficient and commercially viable for companies providing internet. By reducing the cost of data and adopting efficient methods of delivering internet in developing countries, it is possible to add an extra 5 billion people to the existing worldwide web.
The provision of affordable internet access to everyone does not only have benefits for the marginalized user in poor regions of the world but it will also benefit a lot of online companies that would be able to expand their business to an additional 5 billion people on the internet. New markets will be opened, previously untapped customers will be tapped and unreachable regions will reached. At the present moment, internet penetration is extremely slow in most developing areas at only less 9% a year and it has reached a saturation point in developed countries like the USA meaning that growth has virtually come to a standstill. You can imagine the possibilities if the penetration was to be accelerated in regions like Africa, East Asia, South America as well as the rural areas in most countries.
The Internet.org Projectis in a developmental stage right now, and it is not yet known which technologies and business models will be used to provide affordable internet to the unconnected world.However,with a grouping of big brand technology giants like Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung, Opera, MediaTek and QUALCOMM, you can be assured that this is a serious project, Mark Zuckerberg,the Facebook CEO will be implementing something significant that will have an impact on everyone in the developing world.