A group of tech giants along with multi-national organizations have formed a new coalition called A4AI to help spread internet access around the world. This news thus sounds very familiar to some people as the same has been launched in Nigeria. Mark Zuckerberg sometime in August announced Internet.org – a new group dedicated to bringing the Internet to the rest of the world through price reductions and innovations in wireless data delivery.
Google announced that it and more than 30 other members are launching the Alliance for Affordable Internet, or A4AI. The goal is to help “connect the two-thirds of the world that is presently not connected to the internet” by advocating for open and competitive broadband internet rates across the world, the alliance says in a press release.
Much like Zuckerberg’s internet.org, it’s stated purpose is to bring Internet service to the estimated 5 billion people around the world who still aren’t connected. Internet.org comprises of member companies like Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung and others. Whereas Internet.org focuses on the technical aspects of this, A4AI will focus on the policy and cost side of the issue.
In addition to Google, other tech companies that have thrown support behind the Alliance for an Affordable Internet include Microsoft, Yahoo, Cisco, Intel.
It has three goals in mind:
- Publishing a set of policy and regulatory best practices
- Working directly with governments, with plans to engage with 10+ countries by the end of 2015
- Releasing the first edition of an annual affordability report
Ultimately, A4AI is about making the world a more connected place. Over 90% of people in the 49 least developed countries are still not online. A4AI wants to help people in these countries to get access, to find a door to new information, opportunities, and ideas