Internet.org to Widen Web Access
A consortium of tech giants including Facebook, Nokia, Samsung and Ericsson has launched Internet.org – an initiative to bring internet access to “those who cannot currently afford it” in emerging markets.
The aim is to partner with local mobile operators, NGOs and businesses to reduce the cost of data required for mobile phones to function and make battery power more efficient.
Global internet adoption is growing at an annual rate of less than 9%, according to the group. Around a third of the world’s population (2.7 million) currently has internet access.
“We are committed to shaping the networked society – where everyone and everything will be connected in real time, creating the freedom, empowerment and opportunity to transform society,” Hans Vestberg, chief executive of Swedish mobile telecoms equipment maker Ericsson, said in a statement.
The initiative could enable more people in emerging markets to share news, innovative ideas and educational materials, as well as connect with family and friends. The companies backing the initiative also stand to increase their user bases as progress continues.