Why Internet.org Could Bring Big Changes to the World Wide Web

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-08-01 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Facebook, one of the main companies behind the Internet.org initiative, announced recently that it has launched a new app in Africa that will allow those with compatible devices to have free data access to a wide range of popular sites, including Google, Facebook and Wikipedia. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch, saying that he hopes the app will kick off wider adoption of the Internet across underserved countries like Zambia and many developing nations across the African continent. The launch, while small in its initial phase, helps to shed light on Internet.org and what it could mean for developing countries around the world. With Internet.org working in concert with international governments, it's possible that the organization will bring billions more people access to the Web. And in turn, those people could bring about major changes and major opportunities for companies operating in that space. This gives Internet.org a chance to become a change agent to make the World Wide Web wider still. In this slide show, eWEEK highlights how Internet.org has become so important.

 
 
 
  • Why Internet.org Could Bring Big Changes to the World Wide Web

    by Don Reisinger
    1 - Why Internet.org Could Bring Big Changes to the World Wide Web
  • It's Not Just a Facebook World

    Much of the credit for Internet.org has been given to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. While that might make sense to those who have watched Facebook take the lead on bringing Internet connectivity to the whole world, a wide range of companies, including Nokia, Samsung and Qualcomm, flanks it.
    2 - It's Not Just a Facebook World
  • Two-Thirds of the World's Population Is Not Online

    Why is Internet.org so important? Look no further than the data that surrounds the effort. According to the Internet.org site, two-thirds of the world's population is not yet online. Internet.org hopes to bring those people onto the Web and show them the real value of being connected. Here's hoping it happens sooner rather than later.
    3 - Two-Thirds of the World's Population Is Not Online
  • Reducing and Controlling Costs Is an Important Goal

    One of the big challenges for Internet.org is finding ways to control costs. While the effort might seem magnanimous, companies are still trying to make money off those two-thirds of Web users. The trouble is getting Internet connectivity to them is difficult and costly. Internet.org companies are all working together to limit those costs and make it easier to connect people in distant parts of the globe.
    4 - Reducing and Controlling Costs Is an Important Goal
  • Data Compression Will Ultimately Be the Bottleneck

    Once connections get to their desired places around the world, data bottlenecks will be the next problem. Internet users will want to consume heavy amounts of data, and the onus will be on the firms involved in the effort to facilitate that. Right now, Internet.org is working on crunching data to make it easier to send it around the Web, but there's no telling how successful that effort will be.
    5 - Data Compression Will Ultimately Be the Bottleneck
  • Can Zuckerberg Get Companies to Change Business Models?

    Internet.org makes it abundantly clear on its own Website that the business models used by companies in developed countries around the world will not work in emerging markets. People in emerging markets don't have the kind of money or the resources to spend that those in developed countries can, and until more firms can adapt business models to remote parts of the world, it will be hard to get them into the fold.
    6 - Can Zuckerberg Get Companies to Change Business Models?
  • The Open-Source Movement Has Much to Gain

    The open-source movement arguably has the most to gain from Internet.org. Opera, one of the leaders in the open-source world, is helping to build Internet.org, but that's just the beginning. The open-source community can bring about change more quickly by relying upon the population's expertise and could ultimately usher the Internet to more people than can companies providing proprietary services and products.
    7 - The Open-Source Movement Has Much to Gain
  • It All Starts With Basic Services

    Ultimately, the passage to success for Internet.org is first getting basic services into the hands of users. The latest app released by Internet.org is a prime example of that. The app, which is offered to people in Zambia and will expand globally in the coming months, provides free access to just a handful of sites. But those sites are the basic minimum for the average Web user, and they all offer something different in terms of knowledge and access to information that can bring about real change in places like Africa where the Internet has yet to take root.
    8 - It All Starts With Basic Services
  • Getting Connectivity to Remote Parts of the World

    Facebook, like Google, is working diligently to find ways to get Web connectivity to remote parts of the world. Many ideas have been floated, including sending balloons out to carry Web connections or even using drones. Whatever the case, actually getting Internet to areas in which there is no infrastructure is going to be the challenge and the goal for Internet.org.
    9 - Getting Connectivity to Remote Parts of the World
  • There Is a Massive Educational Element

    Education cannot be forgotten in this plan. While bringing the Internet to more people around the world is important, educating them on the value of actually using it is arguably more important. After all, these are people who have lived without Web connectivity and don't necessarily see the value in it. Internet.org has an education program in place to make those folks see value in the Web.
    10 - There Is a Massive Educational Element
  • Yes, There Is a Business Gain Here

    The cynics among us have been quick to point out that there is more here than meets the eye. While Internet.org might look like an altruistic endeavor at first blush, further investigation reveals that it's actually an opportunity for companies like Facebook and others to significantly benefit financially. If two-thirds of the world goes online in the next decade, every major Internet company will benefit greatly. And Facebook, along with Samsung, Nokia, Opera and others, wants to be there with open arms as soon as folks come online.
    11 - Yes, There Is a Business Gain Here
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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