In a new initiative, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced the formation of Internet.org, a group with the specific goal of helping make the internet available to the to every single person on the continent. Facebook, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, and Samsung have formed a partnership to become the founding members— that will join forces for a number of initiatives they presume will bring connectivity to the two-thirds of the globe that currently don’t have an easy way to get online.
The press release of the initiative, Internet.org takes aim at three specific challenges. Affordability, for which the founders will be developing cheaper means of access, including smartphones; data efficiency, in which they’ll focus on compression and other techniques that will allow services to use less bandwidth; and access itself. For the latter, Internet.org’s members will focus on developing business models that will incentivize companies of all types to provide cheaper, more plentiful internet access in the targeted regions.
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Developing markets like Africa and Asia have been an area of vivid focus in recent years. We have seen similar initiatives like Windows phone for Afrika by Microsoft and Huawei, Mozilla’s Firefox OS and Google’s Project Loon, but a true wholistic solution requires a much broader effort. Enjoy the inspirational video above.