Facebook plans to get billions online


From a fledging start-up, Facebook has emerged to become $114-billion company (after it was listed on the NASDAQ with a stock price at $42).

Similarly, the social networking giant has on Wednesday rolled out Internet.org from its stable to make internet access available to five billion people globally.
Internet.org, unveiled (by Facebook) along with Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung, will develop joint projects, share knowledge, and mobilise industry and governments to bring the world online.
Apart from working closely with mobile operators, these founding companies will also include NGOs, academics and experts as well. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in his published paper entitled ‘Is Connectivity A Human Right?’ said: “There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy.”
Currently, only 2.7 billion people — that is just over one-third of the world’s population — have access to Internet.
In his “rough plan”  about the Internet.org, Zuckerberg said the global cost of delivering data is on the order of 100 times too expensive for this to be economically feasible yet.
“However, with an organised effort, we think it is reasonable to expect the overall efficiency of delivering data to increase by 100x in the next 5-10 years,” he adds.
Facebook has already invested more than $1 billion to connect people in the developing world over the past few years, says Facebook CEO and adds that it plans to do more.
Internet.org is influenced by the Open Compute Project, an industry-wide initiative that has lowered the cost of cloud computing by making hardware designs efficient and innovative.
Revealing its plans for the new initiative, Facebook said it will make Internet access affordable and efficient, use less data by improving the efficiency of apps and experiences we use and also help businesses drive Internet access by developing a new model to get people online.
Facebook’s vision for the Internet.org also gives an insight into its efforts in becoming synonymous with or evolving into an Internet giant like Google.
Some of the similar initiatives to expand internet access and improve networks already exist, including Google’s Project Loon (a plan to offer internet access in remote areas using weather balloons) and FB’s  own ‘Facebook for Every Phone’ (app developed for low-cost access in developing nations).
Given that Facebook has recently carried out the search engine optimisation (SEO), adding new features, the launch of Internet.org (which is its attempt to strike a chord with all types of stakeholders) makes it clear that Facebook wants to be identified as something more than just a social network.

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