While many of us think of Internet access as a necessity, there are billions of people around the world that have no such privileges. Today, a new organization called Internet.org was announced with the goal of connecting the rest of the world to the information that's available online.
The Internet.org website shows that the partners in this new organization include Facebook, Nokia, Samsung, Opera, Qualcomm, Ericsson and MediaTek. Those companies have now pledged to work together to develop technologies with the goal of creating cheap smartphones combined with affordable broadband access in parts of the world that currently don't have such services.
Internet.org also wants to work on projects that will reduce the amount of data needed to use Internet apps and services, along with testing new types of business models for delivering that data. Stephen Elop, the CEO of Nokia, is quoted in the Internet.org press release as saying:
Over the years, Nokia has connected well over a billion people. Our industry is now at an exciting inflection point where Internet connectivity is becoming more affordable and efficient for consumers while still offering them great experiences. Universal internet access will be the next great industrial revolution.
The new organization comes a few days after a U.S. government report stated that 20 percent of U.S. residents can't or won't access the Internet, with the high cost of net access mentioned as a major factor. Google recently announced a new program, Project Loon, that aims to provide net access via high altitude balloons to third world countries.