We may not realize it, but those of use who are on and use the internet are pretty fortunate. A little over one-third of the worlds population, about 2.7 Billion people, has internet access, but there are some who want to change that. Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerburg has recently proposed a ‘rough’ plan to provide free internet around the world.
Facebook is looking to partnership with many different companies, like Samsung Electronics, Nokia, and Qualcomm, in order to provide the 5 Billion people on the planet with an internet connection.
As laid out in his proposal, Zuckerberg wants to make ‘basic internet services’ free, provide an environment friendly to businesses, and by using less data. In this way there is a real chance for a free internet that is also sustainable provided to everyone. Zuckerberg really wants to make the internet a human right.
Again, this is a ‘rough plan’ proposed by the Facebook CEO in order to get moving in a direction. He allows for change in the plan as new people and ideas come on to the project. While Facebook has already invested over $1 Billion into free internet, Zuckerberg makes it clear that they cannot create it alone.
The basic plan has three key components, the first of which is ‘basic internet services’. These basic services, that Zuckerberg wants to make free, consist of internet access that uses less than 1 MB of information. That would include text only, access to social media (with some minor modifications), web searches, and things like Wikipedia. Zuckerberg sees this kind of access the entry point to people wanting to pay for more services and access, which, of course, would give businesses an incentive to support the project.
This, seamlessly, transitions to a friendly environment for businesses. Zuckerberg cites some statistical trends which show that e-commerce accounts for about 10% GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in developing nations, where industrial nations e-commerce accounts for about 25% GDP. This would mean that by providing basic internet to every human being in every country that businesses would have an environment conducive to growth.
The last thing that Zuckerberg proposes is more efficient use of information, transferring and compression of information, as well as efficient use of the white spectrums that are used for wireless data communication. All of which would mean more efficient and cheaper ways of utilizing the infrastructure and maximizing its efficiency.
All three of parts of his proposal could create an environment both sustainable and profitable for everyone involved. If this proves to be viable and implementable, then we may see a time when internet access is a human right, free global access to the virtual community.
This seems ambitious and exciting, much like Elon Musk’s idea of a Hyperloop transportation system, but seems to be a framework and less of an actual plan of attack. While Zuckerberg is leaving room for new ideas and imput, there is not yet any teeth to getting this moving forward.
All great achievements in human history start with an idea and in the age of the internet an idea can catch like wildfire. It could see realization in ways no one could have first imagined and that is the joy of dipping into our collective power to create. We will have to wait and see if it comes to pas, but Zuckerberg may be the face of what becomes a truly international and inclusive internet community.
By Iam Bloom