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The world’s most famous philanthropist and inventor of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has announced plans to use drones, among other things in a bid to bring the Internet to much of the world’s population who are still living without access.

When Zuckerberg declared his ambition in August to connect the whole world, I have to say I was somewhat intrigued as to how he planned to go about it.

“For nine years, we"ve been on a mission to connect the world. We now connect more than 1 billion people, but to connect the next 5 billion we must solve a much bigger problem: the vast majority of people don"t have access to the Internet,” he said at the time.

Global partnership

Since then Facebook has joined forces with other tech companies to form Internet.org, which describes itself as “a global partnership dedicated to making affordable Internet access to the two thirds of the world not yet connected.”

However, different parts of the world present different problems when it comes to the Internet and as such, Internet.org has had to come up with a variety of solutions, including laser beams and satellites, as well as aircrafts that can stay fly for months at a time.

Internet’s benefits

While some, including Microsoft’s Bill Gates, may question the importance of Zuckerberg’s bid to connect the world, the UN has pointed out the importance of bringing the Internet to developing nations.

The benefits of having the Internet are obvious. As well as helping with education, it can play a huge in role in economic growth and help many countries that are currently at a disadvantage onto a level playing field.

Forbes argues that “In fact, assuming Internet.org successfully extends connectivity to the remaining two-thirds of the world, the world’s workers stand to gain $27.6 billion of online work by 2022 out of a total potential online work market of $42.5 billion. The bulk of those billions will flow to the developing world, where good, modern jobs are most scarce.”

No one knows exactly how successful Internt.org will be in conquering the world’s connectivity problems. However, I don’t see how increased connectivity for those living in developing nations can be anything other than a positive move.

Whether that day will be any time soon, or years away, we will just have to see.

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