Google, Facebook Partner with UK on Affordable Internet Initiative

The UK government, along with multiple technology companies, will be working to provide affordable Internet access to everyone, particularly in developing countries. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Intel are all supporting the initiative but Google appears to be at the front of the pack.

Both Google and Facebook have already publicly announced plans to provide Internet access to developing nations but this is the first time that they have come together with the UK. The high-tech companies announced the initiative, titled the Alliance for Affordable Internet, on Monday.

Helping Poorer Countries

Although there are some people in developed nations that lack affordable Internet access, the Alliance for Affordable Internet is primarily focused on helping the poorer countries. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the main proponent of the Alliance, cited some statistics which suggested that just 1GB of data can cost someone in Mozambique two months of their income.

Companies such as Google have been trying to figure out ways to actually get the Internet to people in developing countries, but the Alliance is focused more on changing policies in order to keep costs down. Berners-Lee points out EUThe real bottleneck now is anti-competitive policies that keep prices unaffordable. The Alliance is about removing that barrier and helping as many as possible get online at reasonable cost."

In the developing world, almost no one has access to the Internet and according to the UN, this is the result of high prices. Internet access costs around 30 percent of a person's monthly wage in these countries and the Alliance feels that the ridiculous prices are due to greed and bad policy.

Google's Plan

Google was one of the first companies to spark the conversation regarding Internet access in the developing world. Google plans on providing Internet access to people in these countries by using balloons to beam wireless signals to...

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