In either a selfless bid to change the world or an unsurprising play to get another billion users on Facebook, good ol' Zuckerberg has announced a new initiative called Internet.org that teams up Facebook with Samsung, Nokia, Qualcomm, and Ericsson to somehow make the Internet available to the entire world. There aren't any balloons involved like Google's Project Loon, just good old fashioned do goodery like simplifying apps, cutting cost of data, and general Internetting efficiency.
Internet.org is really a combination of little goals from a lot of companies rather than rocket launching Wi-Fi balloons in the air. For example, Facebook is talking about reducing the amount of data the Facebook app needs per day from 12mb to 1mb and Qualcomm is figuring out designs to extend battery life and building out better Wi-Fi networks. Basically, it's a theoretical 'if we all do better, we can do better' and we can help more people (and get more Facebook users) type of thing. Or at least for now. The New York Times reports:
The immediate goals of the new coalition are to cut the cost of providing mobile Internet services to 1 per cent of its current level within five to 10 years by improving the efficiency of Internet networks and mobile phone software. The group also hopes to develop new business models that would allow phone companies to provide simple services like e-mail, search and social networks for little or no charge.
The thing is though, as great as rolling out Internet for the entire world is, there are definitely bigger concerns in the parts of the world that lack Internet access than the lack of Internet access.
Still, Facebook is looking for more companies to join Internet.org. So, who you got in the race to cover the world in www's and h-tee-tee-pees? Facebook with its snazzy URL and realistic, coalition effort, or Google with its ambitious, sci-fi Loon balloons? [Internet.org, NY Times]