What is internet.org you ask?
It’s an initiative started by Mark Zuckerberg (the founder of Facebook) and partners (Samsung to mention one). It aims to get the world “connected” for “free”. It’s an expansion to Mark’s vision of creating one global community.
Sounds amazing right?
Well anyone would be excited by the idea of surfing and staying in touch with family and friends for free. Unfortunately, like many other services it has its limitations which I hope Mark and partners will correct ASAP. I’m of the view that should these limitations be fixed, this service will blow up and achieve its mandate.
Internet.org seems to be very much an extension of Facebook and a major ploy to get everyone on Facebook even the poorest of the poor, well you probably thinking that’s not a limitation. Well it is because free internet should allow one to access absolutely everything and not be limited to certain content and Apps. There are many other services and sites that one cannot access through internet.org and this in my view defeats the whole purpose of free and internet but in fact helps increase numbers for Facebook.
It means more people will be connected (through Facebook and other allowed Apps). Poor people will have “internet access”, well to basic services like healthcare, job searching and educational material etc. That is a very big positive. The service is said to be designed to work well even on poor network coverage such as 2G.
It remains to be seen how far the initiative will go as there are currently about 13 countries enjoying the benefits at the moment. India being one of the largest developing countries on earth is partly enjoying the benefits but the authorities are against the initiative citing that it’s against net neutrality.
Mark and partners plan to station ship-like objects/drones to beam internet from the top in other countries where connectivity is a serious issue and as you would expect this is causing a major hooo haaa in some parts of political spaces. The idea of free internet is awesome, however, it’s the intention or what the players get to benefit. Is it a search for total control? Absolute power? This remains to be seen.
Image: Open Net Africa