Is a Facebook-led initiative bringing together technology leaders, nonprofits and local communities to connect the two thirds of the world that doesn’t have internet access.
Internet.org Innovation Lab
An Ericsson-Facebook collaboration, the Innovation Lab was designed to help developers understand how their apps will work in different parts of the world. The lab’s elaborate test environment mimics a variety of network conditions, giving developers a way to ensure their apps will run even in very remote areas.
If you’re a developer and want to use the lab, please go here to learn more and schedule time.
Internet.org makes the internet accessible to more people by providing them access to a range of free basic services. Through Internet.org, we’ve been able to offer free basic internet services to hundreds of millions of people across Asia, Africa and Latin America. By introducing people to the benefits of the internet through these services, we hope to bring more people online and help improve their lives.
These services are simple and data efficient, so operators can offer Internet.org for free in a sustainable way. Developers do not pay to be included, and operators do not charge developers for the data people use for their services.
We work with developers who are aligned with our mission of connecting people who are unconnected. Through the Internet.org Platform, developers can easily create services that integrate with Internet.org. So far, the main focal areas of our developer partners have been: information, communication, and education tools, with a strong preference for services in local languages.
We believe having a service that is easy to use and offers useful services to people who are new to the internet is a critical part in bringing them into the digital world. Our goal with the Internet.org Platform is to include as many developers and entrepreneurs as possible. If you’re interested in building towards this goal, please visit the Internet.org Participation Guidelines and submit to be added into Internet.org.
FbStart and Social Good
FbStart is our global program for mobile startups, offering free tools and services, mentorship from Facebook, and a likeminded community of mobile developers. In recognition of mobile-focused organizations who promote social good initiatives, FbStart and Internet.org will be introducing another way to work with us. With our Social Good package, developers who create services that address a social need will be eligible for an additional set of benefits, including expedited review for Internet.org, and special events and mentorship with the Internet.org team. If you’re interested in working with us, submit to become a member of FbStart and sign up to learn more about the Social Good package and how to work with Internet.org.
Taking Connectivity to the Next Level
The Connectivity Lab at Facebook is developing ways to make affordable internet access possible in communities around the world. The team is exploring a variety of technologies, including high-altitude long-endurance planes, satellites and lasers.
BELOW YOU CAN READ FROM Mark Zuckerberg on the challenges and opportunities of a new generation of connectivity platforms.
Connecting the World from the Sky
Last August, Facebook partnered with leading technology companies to launch Internet.org — a
global effort to make affordable basic internet services available to everyone in the world.
Connecting the world is one of the fundamental challenges of our time. When people have access to the internet, they can not only connect with their friends, family and communities, but they can also gain access to the tools and information to help find jobs, start businesses, access healthcare, education and financial services, and have a greater say in their societies.
They get to participate in the knowledge economy.
Building the knowledge economy is the key to solving many of our big social and economic challenges, and creates new growth and opportunities for people in every country. A recent study by Deloitte found that the internet is already an important driver of economic growth in many developing countries. Expanding internet access could create another 140 million new jobs, lift 160 million people out of poverty, and reduce child mortality by hundreds of thousands of lives. Connectivity isn’t an end in itself, but it’s a powerful tool for change.
However, there are significant obstacles to building the knowledge economy, and the internet is growing very slowly. Today, only around 2.7 billion people have access to the internet — just a little more than a third of the world’s population. That number is only growing by about 9% every year.
If we want to connect the world, we have to accelerate that growth. That’s our goal with Internet.org.
Internet.org progress to date
In my last paper, I outlined a plan to deliver basic internet services to everyone by working to decrease the costs of connectivity, building more efficient services that use less data, and by partnering with mobile operators on new models for access that can help the industry grow while also bringing more people onto the internet.
Since then, we’ve achieved promising early results from our first set of partnerships. In the Philippines, we worked with mobile operator Globe to offer free data access to our apps, make it easier for people to register for a data plan and get a loan for their plan. In just a few months we helped double the number of people using mobile data on Globe’s network and grew their subscribers by 25%. In Paraguay, by working with TIGO we were able to grow the number of people using the internet by 50% over the course of the partnership and increase daily data usage by more than 50%. These two partnerships alone helped almost 3 million new people access the internet.
These are still early partnerships, and over the coming years we will expand these efforts in additional markets. By working together with operators to drive awareness and demand for internet services, and by collaborating on new models for access that decrease the cost of data, we think we can bring billions more people onto the internet over the next few years.
But partnerships are only part of the solution. To connect everyone in the world, we also need to invent new technologies that can solve some of the physical barriers to connectivity. That’s why Facebook in investing in building technologies to deliver new types of connectivity on the ground, in the air and in space.
Different communities require different technology Facebook’s approach to developing new platforms is based on the principle that different communities need different technical solutions.
Our research has shown that approximately 80-90% of the world’s population lives today in areas already covered by 2G or 3G networks. These environments are mostly urban or semi-urban, and the basic cell and fiber infrastructure has already been constructed here by mobile operators. For most people, the obstacles to getting online are primarily economic.
For the remaining 10-20%, the economic challenges also apply, but in this case they also explain why the basic network infrastructure has yet to be built out. The parts of the world without access to 2G or 3G signals are often some of the most remote places on Earth, where physical access to communities is difficult. Deploying the same infrastructure here that is already found in urban environments is uneconomical as well as impractical.
But deploying the same infrastructure solutions for everyone is also unnecessary when we consider the different population densities found in different communities. In dense urban areas, greater network capacity is needed to serve a larger population. That means we need to build cell towers, small cells or a big network of wi-fi access points. But in the less urban and less connected markets, there are also fewer people distributed over a wider area. Deploying other infrastructure solutions like satellites might be more efficient and cost effective.
Our strategy is to develop different types of platform to serve different population densities.
Coverage Heat Map
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