Freeing the Internet

Technology and social initiatives attempt to bring internet to all

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By Ryan Ennis

In a day and age where internet use is so crucial to our daily lifestyle, it is incredibly challenging to imagine a life without it. There are still millions of people in the world who are deprived of this very convenient tool, but people are trying to quickly change that. Mark Zuckerberg partnered with multiple tech companies in order to create Internet.org. The mission of Internet.org is to provide internet access to the two-thirds of the world that is currently living without it. Internet access is available in most places, but the main problem is that people cannot afford it, however, Internet.org will help fix that. Internet.org is being led by Facebook, but could not exist without partnerships with tech companies and countries allowing them to test their idea. The process of bringing internet access to everyone has been started, but still has a long way to go before everyone can go online.

In order for Internet.org to be successful, cooperation from governments is completely necessary. One of the methods of bringing internet access to everyone is using high flying and low weight drones, but permission is needed from the government in order to operate these drones within the airspace of that country. These drones will fly much higher than commercial airliners and should be able to stay in the air for about three months at a time. These drones still have a long way to go until they are ready to be put to work, as there has been only one test flight that lasted less than two hours.

A second method for bringing internet to remote areas is the use of satellites. A satellite was developed and ready to be sent into orbit but the plan was derailed due to an explosion of a SpaceX rocket that led to the destruction of the satellite. There is another contract with an Israeli company that could potentially help Internet.org send a satellite to space, but a new satellite must first be created. The purpose of the satellite would be to reach incredibly remote areas of the world that a drone could not reach. Drones are also years away from being widely accepted in air space due to the fact that government permission is needed. The satellites could begin working as soon as they can get one in space as opposed to waiting for government approval.

The idea of Internet.org has had some very mixed reviews. Many people are all for the idea and believe that a world where everyone has internet access will help the world grow. People without access can finally have their voices heard and can show their true potential. The people who oppose the idea of Internet.org seem to think that Zuckerberg and his partners are doing this for their own personal benefits. There is potential for Zuckerberg and his partners to profit off of this, but they make it very clear that their purpose it  to make contact with these people much easier. The world has come so far in terms of technology and opening internet access up to billions of people could bring it along even farther.

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