2Facebook 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.
3Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung Are Among the Founding Partners
4It 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.
5Mobile Will Play a Central Role
6Affordability 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.
7Lobbying Will Need to Happen
8Data 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.
9It’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.
10The 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.
11Emerging 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.