Mark Zuckerberg, of Facebook, has announced that Internet.org will be opening itself up for developers to design apps. For those who don’t know, Internet.org is a plan to get Internet access to billions more people across the world. There are still billions of people, especially in Africa and Asia, who lack basic Internet access. Internet access can help spread information where there is a lack education, such as helping a mother get advice in Namibia.
80% of the world is in range of mobile Internet access, so there is already the infrastructure there for many people. The challenge is making it affordable for those without to be able to get connected. These are people who couldn’t afford the extra data that comes with a video advertisement loading, and require information without the extras. It is also important that for operators it is worth their efforts, and allows them to maintain and build on their infrastructure.
Expanding the Internet to take in more people will connect and allow a greater sharing of information. Early warnings could be given to people in areas where a natural disaster is about to hit, advice on farming methods given to farmers in remote areas, children will have access to a world of information to educate them, and it could see those in remote areas connecting to those in cities and learning from each others.
There’s a lot on the Internet, good and bad. There’s a gap between those who have access, and those who don’t, and this fuels inequality. Information is a form of power, and something taken for granted by those who have had access for years. The companies involved in Internet.org aren’t paying to be involved and want to grow the Internet to encompass all people. The technology and infrastructure are there. The last piece of the puzzle is getting devices and access to those without. Global isn’t part of the world, it’s the whole world, and the Internet is the party everyone is invited to.