While most people might not realize this but Internet is actually a luxury.
Its growth in India while being spectacular still leaves much to be desired. In some other developing countries, the situation is even worse. In our country as well, a large population has no internet access and if we start comparing with countries like Japan or Korea, even the rich in our country do not have a sweet deal.
This simply means that there is a huge population out there that is an incredible growth opportunity for companies that are internet dependent.
All the internet giants, be it Facebook, Google or Twitter are free and can be accessible provided there is internet. Also, as these companies are practically monopolies in what they do there is not much they can do in terms of capturing new users in the current demographic. Therefore it is no wonder that now these companies are looking beyond the current crop.
Earlier we had learned of Google’s massive and completely Google-like approach to reaching more people with its Balloons (Project Loon). Twitter and Facebook also have made deals with mobile carriers to provide part of their services for free.
In an another step in the progress, Facebook has joined hands with six tech giants- Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, and Samsung- for the launch of Internet.org. This is an initiative to help take the internet to as many people as possible.
Here is what this initiative wants to achieve
An attempt to make the internet availability cheaper so that more people can access it. In their words- “No one should have to choose between access to internet and food or medicine”.
This is indeed the first and most basic step in this idea. It is also the toughest one. With prices of everything from food to even clean water getting tougher, making internet cheap is not going to be an easy task.
Another idea is to reduce the bandwidth required to transmit the data. This is a great idea and a practical one as well. Opera already is a pioneer in this. Opera Mobile Browser is known for its superior workings in a shabby internet connection.
Further research will lead to better compression algorithms and will enable to use the same bandwidth for more data. An easy way to look at it is that the avi video files are generally bigger than matroska (.mkv) files while the quality is similar.
3. Business Models
An idea can have the best intentions but will not get many takers if it is not lucrative. It is a simple truth. Internet.org is trying to include many developers, mobile operators, and mobile manufacturers to form business models that could work and make this a profitable venture.
It is very visible that for Facebook it is a step to become an industry leader. I wonder what will happen if Facebook and Google entangle themselves in a fight to spread the internet as much as possible. Who knows, in 10 years, internet might be more easily available than clean water and medicines.
Wish our Governments were as proactive!