WASHINGTON - In the new global public arena, it is not uncommon for a person living in Asia to connect with another person in the United States, Europe, South America, Africa, or elsewhere via the internet.
WASHINGTON – In the new global public arena, it is not uncommon for a person living in Asia to connect with another person in the United States, Europe, South America, Africa, or elsewhere via the internet.
Whether its through online forums discussing politics, society, relationships, video games, or virtually any topic under the sun, the internet has created a literal (and symbolic) web of ideas and connections across the globe. However, internet access is not entirely inclusive, thus many are left out of the loop.
Internet access can be costly and not always available for purchase, especially in developing countries. To provide better accessibility, Google is backing a new project called the Alliance for Affordable Internet, or A4AI, a global coalition backed by Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee that hopes to dramatically cut the cost of Internet access.
The A4AI’s goal is to make broadband service cost less than 5 percent of an average monthly income by promoting a set of policy and regulatory best practices. Policy to ensure accessibility would be to open up trade on technology by decreasing tariffs on telecom equipment and ensuring competition in developing markets.
In addition to Google, the other partners in A4AI include: UK Aid, US Aid, the Omidyar Network Microsoft, Yahoo and Cisco Systems.
Broadening access of the internet to include women isn’t just so that more people can go on Facebook. According to a recent UN report on global internet accessibility, by 2015 90% of formal employment across all sectors will require tech skills.“The World Bank (2009) estimates that every 10% increase in access to broadband results in 1.38% growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for developing countries,” the report says.
A4AI is set to launch in 10 [as of now, unnamed] countries, with plans to expand its reach globally in 2016.