Facebook Finds 3.2 Billion People Had Internet Access In 2015 - InformationWeek

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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
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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 an Associate Editor for Dark Reading, where she covers cybersecurity news and trends. 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 ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Ninja
2/26/2016 | 2:13:57 AM
Re: Build it and they will come No Longer works in the Current Dispensation of Ad-Blocking.
What I really don't like about Facebook is how it almost tricked India out of Net Neutrality. Facebook is the prime example of corporate greed, and they aren't afraid to tread on human lives that are dependent on internet for the sake of dollars. Pathetic.
User Rank: Ninja
2/26/2016 | 2:12:00 AM
Re: Numbers
3.2 billion is still less. However I'm really concerned how Facebook collected the data. They already appear to be treading on the online rights of a person.
User Rank: Ninja
2/25/2016 | 3:39:09 PM
The article makes a point that a vast majority of the unconnected people "don't know what it can do for them". I would take a guess that many of these same people view other technologies that we consider "essential" in the same way, such as cell phones, etc. First world citizens often make the mistake of viewing the rest of the world through their eyes, as if this is the only/superior way to live. Many of these people live happy, content lives without every touching the Internet and could care less. Granted, many also live in poverty and live miserable lives, but we should not be so arrogant as to assume that life without Internet is some horrible, destitute, barren wasteland of misery.

The Internet does not guarantee success or happiness in life - the millions of people living in projects in the US who get free Internet are living proof of that. However, I do concede that it does OFFER opportunity, which the article also points out well.
User Rank: Ninja
2/24/2016 | 4:45:55 PM
3.2 billion worldwide is not bad. Of course, is not ideal, but not catastrophic either.
The report looks very interesting. I'm gonna take a look.
User Rank: Ninja
2/24/2016 | 8:27:30 AM
Build it and they will come No Longer works in the Current Dispensation of Ad-Blocking.

The way you are pointing out(Its FB's view after all) is that FB has an altruistic reason/rationale behind pushing more folks online.Of course,they are in it for the Money.

However,the old model(which FB and Google benefitted from)-Selling Advertisers Eye-balls is dying as we speak because of Companies like Shine Technologies who are tying up with Mobile Networks like Digicel,Three UK,etc to BLOCK all Ads on their Mobile Networks.They believe -"We Don't believe that Consumers pay for Data which is then used just to view Ads".

Please see the following articles below which illustrate this serious issue-


& www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-18/why-carriers-want-to-delete-whatsapp

& www.wsj.com/articles/two-european-carriers-to-adopt-ad-blocking-technology-1455858446

And I agree wholeheartedly with their opinion and Feel very stongly why should Consumers pay to have their Tiny Screens constantly bombarded with Ads?

Been Choice(one of the companies profiled here) seems to have the right idea,I have similar ideas piloted in India and China today(via companies like Tata Indicom,Micromax,China Mobile,etc) where the Consumer is PAID to view ads.

Sometimes in the form of Phone Credit,Sometimes in the form of Amazon/iTunes/Paypal Gift vouchers,etc.

This way,Consumers views are taken into consideration and they get compensated for the Data that they have to pay for viewing this Data-Hungry Video Ads.Unfortunately,FB and Google have very little role to play here (if Telecom Companies start pushing only their own Advertising Networks/Aggregators on their own Data Pipes).

One wonders how /why these companies have struggled to understand this basic concept for so long.




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