Coalition for Cheaper Internet Started in AfricaAdded: Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
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The Alliance for Affordable Internet aims to provide cheaper access in developing world. However, the coalition lacks support from local Internet service providers. Worldwide web creator Tim Berners-Lee is leading a cross-industry coalition, announced in Abuja, Nigeria, to campaign against anti-competitive pricing.
The alliance spans both public and private groups, including such giants as Google, Facebook, Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, and the UK Department for International Development.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Internet and founder of the World Wide Web Foundation, pointed out that the majority of the world’s people are still not online, in most cases because they simply cannot afford to be. For instance, in Mozambique, a recent research revealed that using just 1GB of data can cost well over two months’ wages for an average citizen.
The coalition advocates for open, competitive and innovative broadband markets, and aims to help Internet access prices fall. It is obvious that over the last two decades the Internet has changed the world so much that everyday life seems unimaginable without it. No one can deny that Internet access has been a driver of economic growth and the toll empowering people and opening up societies.
High prices result in widening digital divide which slows progress in important areas, including health, education and science. To date, affordable smartphones and undersea cables already exist, there are innovations in wireless spectrum usage, so there’s no good reason for the digital divide to continue.
In the meantime, less than 1/3 of the population in the developing world has Internet access. Compare this to the developed world’s 77%. For example, in Africa, just 16% of people have access to the worldwide web, which is 1/2 the penetration rate of Asia and the Pacific.
But it seems that the road to ubiquitous, affordable Internet access everywhere will not be easy. The matter is that the success of the coalition will hinge on how much buy in they get from the local ISPs. Perhaps, the group needs a more holistic approach to increasing penetration, involving not only the cost of broadband. Of course, it has a noble mission, but it could stagnate in the future if the other factors are not addressed concurrently.
October 29th,2013Posted by:
Tuesday, October 29th, 2013No comments
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