Something that most of us take for granted isn’t even accessible by a large portion of the world. Read what is being done to change this.
In most developed nations, citizens use the internet on a daily basis to search, shop, sell and chat. The internet is a vital resource for business, and its merit in the education sphere is unprecedented.
Sure, we love cat videos as much as anyone and there’s undeniably an abundance of useless content online. However, the way the internet has revolutionized our communicative powers and created a global community is undeniable; the internet has changed the world for the better. Here at WestHost the majority of our internet usage is dedicated to hosting websites for our clients, as well as conducting research into emerging technologies and sustaining a service which empowers our clients online.
So when we hear that 57% of the world is still without internet, we wonder what is being done to rectify this. Many countries are underdeveloped and as such are without the technical equipment needed to support an internet connection. These environments need significant advancements if they are to join the connected world.
Internet access provides educational resources to these underprivileged areas, injecting these societies with invaluable skills. When a nation becomes more educated, crime and poverty levels can reduce significantly, while the economy also gets a boost.
What is being done to provide access to the internet to this 57% of the world?
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, is dedicated to providing internet access to the entire world. He started up internet.org, a partnership with six other companies that intends to use the latest technology to provide internet access to even the poorest countries in the world.
Here is what Zuckerberg said a year ago when he announced internet.org:
“In our effort to connect the whole world with Internet.org, we’ve been working on ways to beam internet to people from the sky.
Today, we’re sharing some details of the work Facebook’s Connectivity Lab is doing to build drones, satellites and lasers to deliver the internet to everyone.
Our goal with Internet.org is to make affordable access to basic internet services available to every person in the world.
We’ve made good progress so far. Over the past year, our work in the Philippines and Paraguay alone has doubled the number of people using mobile data with the operators we’ve partnered with, helping 3 million new people access the internet.
We’re going to continue building these partnerships, but connecting the whole world will require inventing new technology too. That’s what our Connectivity Lab focuses on, and there’s a lot more exciting work to do here.”
So the big question is, how will internet.org possibly be able to provide internet to the entire world?
On July 30 Jay Parikh, VP of Global Engineering at Facebook, published a newsroom post highlighting the progress of a boomerang-shaped aircraft capable of delivering “beaming” internet connectivity from an altitude of 60,000 to 90,000 feet. Although the majority of the world at least lives near a 3G wireless signal, 10% of the world’s population lives in remote areas far away from any internet access. This aircraft will deliver internet to those remote areas. Seem too far fetched? Check out the video below:
A further announcement from Facebook stated that their laser communications team has successfully created a laser that can convey data at 10s of Gb per second, which is significantly faster than our current internet speeds.
Google wants to connect the world with… balloons?
As you may expect, Google has plans of their own to deliver internet to the entire world. However, Google’s idea is a bit different: they plan to dispatch giant balloons that can transmit internet signals all over the world. The venture is called Project Loon, a fitting name for such an out-there idea.
Google claims that these thousands of balloons will float around in the stratosphere, twice as high as airplanes and the weather. These high-tech balloons will deliver a strong signal to LTE-enabled devices below the range of the balloon. Again, if this all seems too crazy to believe, check out Google’s video below:
Project Loon performed a successful test run in New Zealand in 2013, but no official word has yet been released on when these Google-powered balloons will take to the skies.
An entirely connected world will drastically improve many nations that struggle with lack of communication with the rest of the world. The push for an internet-filled world moves on.
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