The Facebook CEO received mixed responses from the media for his goal to connect everyone on the planet through the Internet. Mark Zuckerberg recently launched the Inetrnet.org, a global initiative to bring Internet connectivity to the vast majority of the people on the planet who are as of yet unconnected.
Some analysts take a very pessimistic view of the initiative as a ploy to use government subsidy to further the interests of the company. Others see little room for the Initiative to make any contribution and say that most of the points raised by Mr. Zuckerberg are being covered by the governments. The initiatives include reducing costs by providing proper incentives and proper utilization of the spectrum from governments.
The cost of accessing Internet still remains high, however. There is lot of scope for innovation in technology and management to provide Internet to especially to remote areas like villages in the third world countries. Governments in the third world see the benefits of Internet connectivity and have been trying to provide it.
India is a case in point; the nation has a large population dependent on agriculture that still lives in remote villages. According to a report from Hindu - The state owned BSNL company plans to connect 10000 Gram Panchayats by the end of 2013. Gram Panchayat is a political body consisting of five elected members from the village. India has close to 600,000 inhabited villages according to the 2011 census. With the current pace only the political and administrative bodies can hope to get Internet connection by the end of the decade.
There is a major hurdle in providing internet connectivity to villages. Price has been a prohibiting factor not only of the cost of data transfer but also the cost of the computing devices required for the connectivity.
Facebook plans to overcome this problem by focussing on mobile devices. The Internet.org initiative aims to collaborate with manufacturers to come up with a low cost smartphone to provide Internet access.
There could be more hurdles and challenges for the Facebook CEO to overcome before the majority of the people are connected by Internet.
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