A rough draft on connecting the planet's population
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is ambitious, if nothing else. Whether you're into the social networking scene or not, you have to credit the whiz kid for building the world's largest social playground with over a billion active users around the globe. That's impressive, but it pales in comparison to what he wants to do next. The social star now wants to connect every person in the world to the Internet, and he has a plan to get it done.
It's really more of a rough draft, as Zuckerberg himself makes clear in a multi-page outline (PDF) of a new initiative to bring Internet access to all. He's not alone, either. Zuckerberg is joined by some big names in founding Internet.org, a global partnership aimed at making Internet access available to the next 5 billion people. In addition to Facebook, other founding members include Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, and Samsung.
"Everything Facebook has done has been about giving all people around the world the power to connect," Zuckerberg said. "There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy. Internet.org brings together a global partnership that will work to overcome these challenges, including making internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it."
There are obviously several challenges that need to be overcome if this vision is ever going to be realized. Primary among them is cost. Partners will collaborate to develop and adopt technologies that make mobile connectivity more affordable, though that's only part of the equation. Focus will also be placed on using data more efficiently and helping businesses drive Internet access by developoing a new model to get people online.
If you care to read his outline, Zuckerberg dives into more granular details on the technical side about how this can be achieved. It's a long-term plan that's currently in the very early stages of development.
"I hope this rough plan can serve as a blueprint for some of what we'll all need to do to connect the next 5 billion people," Zuckerberg says.