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2/23/2016
02:16 PM
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Facebook Finds 3.2 Billion People Had Internet Access In 2015

Despite advances in expanding global Internet connectivity, the number of people who are not connected to the Internet still far outweighs the number of those who are, according to a Facebook report.

6 Drones Designed To Do Good
6 Drones Designed To Do Good
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Over the course of a year, the number of people connected to the Internet rose 6.7% to 3.2 billion worldwide in 2015, according to a global Internet access report.      

However, the majority of people across the globe are still not connected to the Internet. Last year, 4.1 billion, or 57% of the world's population, were not Internet users, the report found, citing four key barriers: availability, affordability, relevance, and readiness.

But as much as Facebook is pushing to increase the number of Internet users worldwide and has put out a call to action to governments, corporations, and nonprofits, it faces the conundrum of whether people in rural communities, emerging nations, and low-income neighborhoods will come if they build it.

The report found that 1 billion people lack basic literacy skills and more than 66% of people living in developing countries where there is no connectivity do not have a grasp of what the Internet is or what it can do for them.

(Image: PashaIgnatov/iStockphoto)

(Image: PashaIgnatov/iStockphoto)

In addition to that readiness issue, the question of whether there will ever be enough content to view online that is in the language that the user speaks is another problem. The study found that there were only 55 languages that have enough relevant content online, which is defined by having at least 100,000 Wikipedia articles.  And although the report found that 67% of people in the world speak one of these 55 languages as either their primary or secondary language, there are still many more languages out there.

According to the BBC, there are approximately 7,000 different languages spoken in the world, of which only 150 to 200 are predominantly used by over 1 million people.

Relevance and readiness may be the more challenging issues to overcome of the four key issues that are a barrier to people accessing the Internet. A number of companies, from telecom providers to Internet behemoths like Facebook and Google, are angling to increase their marketshare and reach with consumers and businesses. They will likely drive the technical side of making the Internet available through building or expanding more mobile broadband networks.

[See Google SkyBender Drone Project Aims to Deliver 5G WiFi.]

Facebook, for example, announced its Connectivity Lab several years ago to deliver the Internet via satellites, drones, and lasers to everyone around the globe. The social media giant also has Internet.org, which aims to make basic Internet services available to everyone worldwide.

The study found that remote mobile Internet sites end up costing two to three times more than do sites operating in urban areas. That 2.7 billion who are not mobile phone users tend to have to pay Internet costs that are three times higher than those who are smartphone users. The encouraging aspect of the study found that 500 million more people at the end of 2014 could afford to pay for 500MB of data every month than in 2013.

The overall rise in Internet users to 3.2 billion over the previous year's 3 billion was attributed, in part, to rising global incomes and data that was more affordable, the study noted.

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Dawn Kawamoto is a freelance writer and editor. She is an award-winning journalist who has written and edited technology, management, leadership, career, finance, and innovation stories for such publications as CNET's News.com, TheStreet.com, AOL's DailyFinance, and The ... View Full Bio

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Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 9:37:05 PM
Re: Numbers
This was a fascinating study.  It still amazes me the huge numbers of people who do not have access to the Internet.  Needless to say, I don't support nor trust Facebook or Google to champion this cause.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 8:37:33 AM
Re: Numbers
shamika,

Fair enough Statements to make here.

Costs as well as Lack of Local Quality content are realy barriers to more widespread Net adoption globally.

 
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 8:27:10 AM
Re: Numbers
SachinEE,

Are you tracking the Net Neutrality Debate Globally but particularly in India?

You see FB tried all it could to bend the Regulators there to permit Free Basics (Basically FB,Wikipidea for free) but they were blocked by the Regulators over Net Neutrality concerns.

Similar sentiments apply towards Projects like Loon;especially if Google starts deciding which websites consumers can (&Can't) visit.You don't want these people to pick the winners & losers online ;Do you?

For the simple reason that the forthcoming Online ecosystem does not stay robust and stops innovating in that case.

I find it hard to believe(as a Cold-Blooded Professional/Entrepreneur) that Google is doing this for Free or without any monetary consideration whatsoever.

So what would be a better solution?

I feel providing a basic /Free Taxpayer funded Internet Backbone all across every country (you pay more if you want Higher Speeds and Better service) maybe the way to go;especially for large countries where Rural communities are far-flung and spread out.

But then as you also know;Governments are stretched Fiscally Globally.I for one am unsure how they can fund it unless they curb Militiary Spending by say 20%???
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 2:37:50 AM
Re: Numbers
@Shamika: Internet would be more accessible with Loon and other projects currently in the air.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 2:15:29 AM
Re: Build it and they will come No Longer works in the Current Dispensation of Ad-Blocking.
Facebook and Google are the pioneers of the present age. They excel is marketability, and also do data mining on indivudials. What I really do not like is how they do it, which concerns Yalanand as well. Things are getting shady in the Valley.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
2/27/2016 | 9:05:53 PM
Re: Numbers
I think it's great that it uses 55 different languages across.  
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
2/27/2016 | 9:05:24 PM
Re: Numbers
"57% of the world's populations were not Internet users". This is unbelievable. I think out of the main 4 reasons it is the affordability which has a great impact.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
2/26/2016 | 9:43:30 AM
Re: Numbers
yalanand,

Nobody is forcing you to use FB;if you just install the EFF Plugin-Privacy Guard (on Firefox and Chrome) the chances of any cookies/information you generate inside your Browser don't go anywhere unless you ask them to.

I can't speak for other folks who don't care about their Privacy but anyone who does-There are plenty of Tools available online to stop these Privacy Destroyers in their tracks.

 
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
2/26/2016 | 9:40:00 AM
Re: Build it and they will come No Longer works in the Current Dispensation of Ad-Blocking.
yalanand,

I am not surprised Mark Zuckerberg tried very hard to basically invade every single Indian Smartphone via his Free Basics Package.

Since FB is locked out of China,there is only one Giant market left for them which is relatively untapped-India.

One should'nt be surprised at his desperation to crack the Indian Market come what may.

The whole Business model is based on eyeballs;with FB Coverage/reach saturated in the So-called Developed World there is no real option but to try and conquer other Markets where Per Capita Incomes are much-much lower.

What I am more interested in seeing /observing is how will Market Participants in General react (and also FB/Whatsapp consumers) when this Bubble in Valuations bursts & these guys actually start charging for services they render to consumers.

Its going to be very-very interesting times in the Valley.That much is certain.

 
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
2/26/2016 | 9:22:33 AM
Re: Agreed!
GAProgrammer,

Fair points raised by you here.

There is no doubt about the fact that the Internet is an oppurtunity for most folks Globally.

What you chose to do with the Oppurtunity is entirely in your hands.

But an even more important question is (as far FB goes)-Is access to FB really a part of that oppurtunity?

I have'nt used FB in over a year now and it has not affected my Work/Business one bit.

For me(and most SMBs like myself) FB is just a distraction.Nothing more,Nothing less.

The sooner we realize that factor you then immediately stop putting FB on the Pedestal on which foolish folks(especially in MSM) have put them there.

Its as big as a Bubble as one cares to admit today unless they are able to channelize Targeted Ads to Consumers and/or Bring Consumers directly to Sellers.

FB does'nt do either of those two things very effectively today.

Won't be surprised one bit when this Bubble bursts.

 
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