Facebook is accessed by up to 1.15 billion users each month. The social networking site believes that limited availability and cost of Internet access remains as main barriers to make it possible to make the online media available to about 4 billion other people worldwide.
Thus, the company formed a consortium that would make the Internet more accessible and less costly to more people globally. It has unveiled the coalition called Internet.org. The aim of the group is to cut the cost of delivery of basic online services particularly on mobile phones across developing nations.
Facebook is among the founding partners of Internet.org along with Samsung Electronics, MediaTek, Opera, Qualcomm, Nokia, and Ericsson. These partners have agreed to collaborate in making technologies to lower Internet costs, creating apps that are efficient in data usage, and forming partnerships with other companies and local operators to broaden Internet services.
Leading the global industry
The establishment of this coalition could be an indication that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is attempting to position himself as a real industry leader. As one of the proponents of Internet.org, Zuckerberg is trying to integrate humanitarian goals into profit motives.
However, it seems that he is not supported by other major players. It could be noted that the coalition does not include bigger brands like Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Twitter. It could also be noted that Internet.org does not involve telecommunications providers yet. Facebook said it is convincing several academic experts and non-government organizations worldwide to join the project.
Competing with Google
Internet.org’s initiatives may compete with Google’s current activities that are also aimed at providing Internet access to more users specifically in developing countries. The search engine giant and technology firm has already rolled out a couple of initiatives as part of its program.
Free Zone aims to provide to more people free access to Google’s main services like the search engine, Google+ social network, and the Gmail Webmail service. This zero-rating effort was initially launched recently in India through its partner Bharti Airtel.
Meanwhile, another ambitious project that is on the trial phase now is Google’s Project Loon. Google aims to bring Internet access to people in remote, rural, and usually underserved areas through deploying into the atmosphere floating balloons that contain Wi-Fi equipment. This project was already successfully tested in New Zealand last June.
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