Facebook’s Internet.org Connects Almost 100M to the Internet
While the developed world is criticizing Facebook frequently for its data breaches, it looks like the social networking giant is aiming more at getting the developing countries online and is rather good at it. The company has recently reached the 100M subscribers mark up from 40M back in 2016.
During its recent 2018 Q1 earnings report, a Facebook spokesperson was quoted saying that their efforts have helped about 100 million people gain access to the Internet which was otherwise not possible.
The Internet.org makes use of it Free Basic app (which was earlier called as Internet.org app) to provide access to internet through low-bandwidth services and Express Wi-Fi hotspots for people living in the developing countries. These services and hot spots will be basically provided by local merchants who will charge the end users for using their services to access internet.
Facebook has also launched the Express Wi-Fi app recently that lets the users to buy data packs to gain access to the internet and the company is also testing a solar-powered drone, Aquilla, which will be able to continuously beam the bandwidth without any interruption to the users in remote areas where mobile network services are unavailable.
Recent reports suggest that the company is also trying to seek support from the government and get their approval to test its Aquilla drone to check how it can enhance the delivering access to LTE users in New Mexico. Facebook is also experimenting new ways including the use of lasers and satellites to provide bandwidth in places where there is no decent connectivity to mobile networks.
However, Facebook has received a lot of backlash on the grounds that its Free Basics program violates the net neutrality and doesn’t give free and complete access to the users to the open web. It was the reason that Free Basics was completely banned in India. But still, those who do not have any access to the internet believe that some internet is better than having none.
The Internet.org is a partnership between Facebook and other companies including Samsung, Qualcomm, Nokia, MediaTek, Ericsson, and Opera Software that aims to increase the number of Facebook users and its revenue. It works with other carriers, companies and even governments to help Facebook achieve its goal of increasing its users.