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

1 - Why Internet.org Could Bring Big Changes to the World Wide Web
2 - It's Not Just a Facebook World
3 - Two-Thirds of the World's Population Is Not Online
4 - Reducing and Controlling Costs Is an Important Goal
5 - Data Compression Will Ultimately Be the Bottleneck
6 - Can Zuckerberg Get Companies to Change Business Models?
7 - The Open-Source Movement Has Much to Gain
8 - It All Starts With Basic Services
9 - Getting Connectivity to Remote Parts of the World
10 - There Is a Massive Educational Element
11 - Yes, There Is a Business Gain Here
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Why Internet.org Could Bring Big Changes to the World Wide Web

by Don Reisinger

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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