Facebook's Internet Everywhere Initiative: 10 Things to Know

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2013-08-22 Print this article Print

Is having Internet access a human right? That's a question Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg asked in a recent posting on his profile page announcing Internet.org. With help from several other companies, Zuckerberg's Facebook will attempt to improve the Internet's reach around the world and grow it from its current user base of 2.7 billion people. According to Zuckerberg, the Internet's adoption is growing at less than 9 percent—an abysmal rate for such an important technology. With Internet.org, Zuckerberg and his partners hope to bring the Web to just about everyone in the world. And with the right strategy, some lobbying and certainly the use of company funds, it's entirely possible that the firms will achieve their goal. It'll be no easy task, as Zuckerberg himself pointed out, but it's one that will prove extremely important to those around the world that, as of this moment, have no idea what the Internet is. Flip through the following slides to learn more about Zuckerberg's Internet.org, and find out what things could help improve Internet adoption around the world.

  • Facebook's Internet Everywhere Initiative: 10 Things to Know

    By Don Reisinger
    0-Facebook's Internet Everywhere Initiative: 10 Things to Know
  • Facebook Is Taking the Lead

    When Mark Zuckerberg announced his plans, it immediately became clear that he was going to take the lead on the Internet.org initiative. But that's a good thing. Zuckerberg and Facebook are in unique positions in the online world, and they have the capacity to make a difference. Look for them to do just that.
    1-Facebook Is Taking the Lead
  • Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung Are Among the Founding Partners

    But Facebook isn't alone in this endeavor. Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and several other prominent companies are founding partners in this initiative. Facebook said that they should all be able to help expand Internet adoption in their own way.
    2-Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung Are Among the Founding Partners
  • It Attempts to Increase Internet Adoption

    The initiative is all about getting more people onto the Web. Although the companies involved in Internet.org are for-profit, and there might eventually be a way for them to generate more cash from all the new users, the first step is to bring people onto the Web by any means necessary. And that is what the companies plan to do.
    3-It Attempts to Increase Internet Adoption
  • Mobile Will Play a Central Role

    Because of its ability to span wide distances with less infrastructure investment, the companies behind Internet.org are planning to roll out mobile connectivity with this initiative. The move should ramp up Internet adoption at a faster clip and bring people online, albeit at a slower bit rate.
    4-Mobile Will Play a Central Role
  • Affordability Is a Major Sticking Point

    Since the Internet isn't necessarily free to everyone, the companies behind the initiative have a bit of an issue. For one thing, in emerging markets where people are very widely spread out, getting Internet to them in a cost-effective manner will be difficult. Facebook and its partners say that they plan to work on cost-effectiveness as one of their first orders of business.
    5-Affordability Is a Major Sticking Point
  • Lobbying Will Need to Happen

    Although they don't say "lobby," the companies behind the Internet rollout made clear that to be successful, they'll need to coax foreign governments into expanding their investments into the Internet. Look for lobbying—or whatever they want to call it—to play a central role in this plan.
    6-Lobbying Will Need to Happen
  • Data Savings Could Help Improve Adoption

    Interestingly, the companies also announced on Aug. 20 that they need to handle the immense cost that goes into data. Unfortunately, data is awfully large, and companies right now are not crunching it down to make it easier to transfer, and thus, cheaper to send across borders. Data savings is absolutely necessary.
    7-Data Savings Could Help Improve Adoption
  • It'll Be a Long, Hard Sell

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged one simple reality with this plan: It won't be easy, and it won't happen overnight. Around the world, certain governments are less than willing to bring the Internet to their people through fear of their seeing the wrong things. There are also billions of people around the world who don't have the money or the infrastructure to actually access the Web. Simply put, this will be a hard-fought victory if the large majority of people around the globe eventually get on the Internet.
    8-It'll Be a Long, Hard Sell
  • The Initiative Contends Internet Access Is a "Human Right"

    It's an interesting concept and one that deserves more discussion: Is Internet access a "human right?" If one were to ask Mark Zuckerberg, it would seem that way. But others around the world, especially dictators, disagree. Whether the companies behind the initiative can change minds and show the world that Internet access is a human right remains to be seen.
    9-The Initiative Contends Internet Access Is a
  • Emerging Markets Will Be the Main Target

    Although a staggeringly high number of people in the U.S. can't access the Internet because they're in rural areas, the main focus for the Internet.org initiative will be emerging markets, countries around the world that lack the advancement found in more developed countries. That's good news for all Web users. After all, the more people on the Web, the more exciting the advancements.
    10-Emerging Markets Will Be the Main Target
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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