Technology alone, even if it’s cool and supported by billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, is not enough to get the approximately 3.5 billion people worldwide who do not use the Internet online.
That’s why I appreciate Facebook’s holistic approach that intelligently takes into account the complexity of the challenge.
The company’s initiative began a few years ago on the simple but profound premise that everyone – governments, citizens, and businesses including Facebook and companies that sell Internet services and devices – must benefit from the Internet in order for it to spread everywhere. To do this, ways had to be found to reduce the costs of connecting the world.
If that sounds a little bumpy or difficult to pin down … yes. Facebook’s approach is mostly boring, that i love, and far less visible than Billionaires satellites, Drones or Helium balloons used to broadcast internet services to more places. Instead, Facebook is doing things like sharing internet fiber optic lines to carry data and inventing software for cheaper cell phones. (Yes, Facebook is doing something really helpful!)
There probably isn’t a big bang solution to getting the rest of the world online, but instead there are a variety of approaches that play a role effective government policy, self-serving companies like Facebook, charitable funding, and local community organizations Adaptation of internet technologies and guidelines to your needs.
Joining billions requires a million different tactics and some far-reaching – and often boring – strategies.
Here are a few examples of Facebook: In North Carolina, Facebook shares high-speed internet lines it built for its data centers with a nonprofit internet service provider, the provides services for rural schools and health care Institutions. Fast internet connections cost a fortune, and sharing them takes the burden off them.
Facebook too developed a technology – and released its blueprints for free – that companies use to make relatively inexpensive internet equipment that can be attached to light poles or roofs in places where it is impractical to tunnel underground to lay conventional internet pipelines. Alaska communication said recently that it used devices based on Facebook’s designs for faster internet connections in Fairbanks and Anchorage.
And imagine if Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile owned a cellular network together. That’s essentially what Facebook did to partners in Peru Collaborate in a sparsely populated area using a mobile internet network. Otherwise, it might have cost too much for companies to have too little potential revenue to wire these areas. According to Facebook, the project has provided around 1.5 million Peruvians with 4G services since it started two years ago.
Facebook’s tangle of internet connection projects may not all be effective. The company isn’t as good at explaining what it does to ordinary people as you are to the this information The company announced on Monday. However, Facebook may have learned some lessons from the legitimate complaints about its top-class projects to extend the Internet access so that has largely benefited itself.
The difference to these internet connection projects is that Facebook mostly takes a back seat. It seeks to help the home industries that already exist on the internet in a number of ways, including government agencies, internet equipment vendors, and cellular operators.
Facebook is also focused on the mostly invisible parts of the expansion of the Internet: digging Internet lines into rocky terrain or under water, making cell phone masts a little more efficient and finding sustainable profit models.
Facebook’s self-interest is also open. The company recognizes the benefit of having more people online. But also countries and their citizens and many other companies that benefit from the sale of goods to billions more people and companies with Internet access.
“There is no panacea to connect the world” Dan Rabinovitsj, a Facebook vice president who runs his internet connectivity project told me. He and his colleagues have repeated this feeling many times. It is perhaps the most important statement about the challenge of making the internet better for everyone.
Facebook’s approach is not perfect and it will take more time to assess how well it is working. But basically, an internet revolution should look like this – methodical, collaborative and largely focused on the essentials to get more people online. Changing the world is sometimes very boring.
Before we go …
Scams That Bring In The Money: My colleague Shane Goldmacher reports on the “Dirty little secret of online political fundraising” – That both Democrats and Republicans use aggressive and misleading texts and emails that are much more likely to scam older Americans who are unfamiliar with the Internet. Tactics include fake bills, breathless exaggerations, and pre-ticked boxes that automatically repeat donations.
The shrinking TV hit: The Washington Post writes on how subscription streaming services have contributed to the accelerated disappearance of hugely popular television shows that used to attract tens of millions of people. Making many TV shows for a few tends to be a better choice for subscription services than making a few shows for the many, says The Post.
Laptops That Cost Less Than $ 500 And Don’t Smell: Wirecutter, the New York Times product recommendation site, has suggestions too pay attention to good models and how to shop smart.
“Stop running, there’s a bear !!!” In Anchorage, a marathon was canceled when a Bear with her cubs who fell down in the middle of the course. The race was rerouted, the runners continued and no one was injured.
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