Several of today’s tech leaders have partnered to bring Internet access to the 5 billion people without the service. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of Internet.org, a partnership aimed at bringing Internet access to all.
With only 2.7 billion people having Internet access, and Internet adoption inching up at less than 9% annually, Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung are committed to bridging the gap through joint projects on data-compression technologies and higher-quality, cheaper smartphones to support Internet access in underserved communities, among other initiatives.
“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,” said Zuckerberg in a press statement.
The organization outlined the three major tenets of the partnership in its press release:
Making access affordable with more affordable smartphones, as well as working with mobile operators to bring Internet access to communities in need.
Using data more efficiently by improving data caching, developing data compression tools and enhancing network abilities. Efficient use of data will keep costs at a manageable amount.
Helping businesses drive access to “support development of sustainable new business models” and provide services that make it easier for people to access the web.
Visit Internet.org for an overview of the project, its goals and full list of partners. You can expect to see interviews with leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), as well as the latest on Internet.org’s programming, in the coming weeks.