Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and six friends want to bring the Internet to the unwashed, unconnected masses. The Internet.org consortium seeks to make net access cheap and ubiquitous, all over the planet. A noble cause, for sure, but does anyone trust the movement's figurehead, Mark Zuckerberg?
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers question the gnomes' plan.
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: What's phase two?...
Vindu Goel reports:
On Wednesday, Facebook plans to announce an effort aimed at drastically cutting the cost of...basic Internet services. ... Half a dozen of the world’s tech giants...agreed to work with the company as partners on...Internet.org.
Mr. Zuckerberg...is trying to position himself as an industry leader [by] laying out a philosophy that tries to pair humanitarian goals with the profit motive. ... But [he's also] trying to meet Wall Street’s demands for growth by attracting customers beyond saturated markets. MORE
John Ribeiro adds:
[The] joint project...aims to connect the two-thirds of the global population that is not currently linked to the Internet. [Facebook] Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung...will develop joint projects, share knowledge, and work with industry and governments.
The focus of the new plan will be on lowering cost of access through projects such as low-cost smartphones...reduc[ing] data usage by apps and other services through data compression tools, networks that handle data more efficiently, systems that better cache data...and also creating sustainable business models for delivery of Internet at affordable prices. MORE
But Diaby Cheick Mohamed fears Zuck&co will make the same "ugly American" mistakes that others have:
...just like other projects trying to connect the world...we have seen a wrong understanding of what people need and expect. ... So please, do not transform this initiative into another Facebook for the masses. Make sure you get real feedback from the ground on what needs to be done.
Start a collaborative partnership with local partners. ... Do not assume you, the giants, know everything about what is happening in the lives of these billions of people. MORE
A slightly cynical Vadim Braun thinks there's a name missing from the list of organizations:
They forgot to mention CIA support. MORE
Meanwhile, Ron Chamberlain III wonders whether money's being spent wisely:
Interet.org huh...how much did that domian cost? MORE
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