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Facebook announces coalition with other technology companies to lower barriers to Internet access on mobile phones worldwide

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22 August 2013

Mark Zuckerberg's push to expand Internet access has big hurdles

Author: Chris O'Brien, LA Times (USA)

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg's ambitious plan to provide Internet access to billions of people around the globe will face challenges that extend far beyond solving technical and financial issues...But nonprofit groups that have been focused on bridging the global digital divide have reported that such efforts inevitably run into problems including economics, culture, education and corruption...Still, Zuckerberg says he felt compelled to tackle an issue he says is crucial...Brian Wieser, a senior analyst at Pivotal Research, said Zuckerberg's announcement seemed more geared toward generating positive publicity for Facebook and honing its relationships with governments around the world...[Refers to Google, Microsoft]

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21 August 2013

Facebook Leads an Effort to Lower Barriers to Internet Access

Author: Vindu Goel, New York Times

Facebook announced an effort aimed at drastically cutting the cost of delivering basic Internet services on mobile phones, particularly in developing countries, where Facebook and other tech companies need to find new users. Half a dozen of the world’s tech giants, including Samsung, Nokia, Qualcomm and Ericsson, have agreed to work with the company as partners on the initiative, which they call Internet.org...With Internet.org, [Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg] is laying out a philosophy that tries to pair humanitarian goals with the profit motive...The group also hopes to develop new business models that would allow phone companies to provide simple services like e-mail, search and social networks for little or no charge...The coalition partners have also begun trying new ways of reducing the data charges paid by cellphone customers while still enabling phone makers and carriers to make money...“We’re focused on it more because we think it’s something good for the world,” [Mark Zuckerberg] said, “rather than something that is going to be really amazing for our profits.” [Also refers to Globe Telecom, Google, Microsoft]

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Author: Radio y Televisión Española

Algunas de las principales compañías tecnológicas del mundo se han unido para lanzar internet.org, una alianza a nivel mundial cuyo objetivo...es hacer llegar Internet a los dos tercios de habitantes del planeta que no se pueden conectar...Facebook desarrollará junto a los otros miembros fundadores de internet.org -Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm y Samsung- proyectos conjuntos, compartirán conocimientos y se han propuesto "movilizar a la industria y los gobiernos" para que los que "actualmente no pueden permitirse" estar online, según recoge su comunicado...Los objetivos que se han marcado las compañías tecnológicas de la alianza para universalizar el acceso a Internet son facilitar la conectividad móvil y reducir el coste de la entrega de datos, para lo que pretenden desarrollar smarthphones de bajo coste y "alta calidad" para las "comunidades marginadas".

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Author: Philippe Vion-Dury, Rue89 (France)

Le fondateur de Facebook...a annoncé mardi un projet un rien ambitieux : œuvrer pour l’avènement d’un monde entièrement connecté où chacun aurait accès à Internet – et, bien sûr, à Facebook…[L]e leader des réseaux sociaux a réuni une demi-douzaine de géants de la high-tech (Ericsson, Mediatek, Opera, Samsung, Nokia et Qualcomm) pour ce projet baptisé Internet.org…Aujourd’hui, seulement 2,7 milliards de personnes – à peine plus d’un tiers de la population mondiale » – ont accès à Internet…Pour y remédier, les sept entreprises…entendent agir sur trois axes : Rendre l’accès abordable…Utiliser plus efficacement les données…Aider les nouvelles entreprises à se connecter…La stratégie d’Internet.org se base donc essentiellement sur la téléphonie mobile…Autre phénomène important : la course aux smartphones low-cost…[Also refers to Archos, Google, Huawei Technologies, Microsoft, Safaricom, Twitter]

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21 August 2013

[PDF] Is Connectivity A Human Right?

Author: Facebook

Below, I’ll discuss the state of the internet today, why connectivity is such an important problem for the world, the major issues we’ll need to solve — technical, social and economic — and then I’ll outline a rough plan to accomplish this goal. I’m focused on this because I believe it is one of the greatest challenges of our generation. The unfair economic reality is that those already on Facebook have way more money than the rest of the world combined, so it may not actually be profitable for us to serve the next few billion people for a very long time, if ever. But we believe everyone deserves to be connected.

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