Mark Zuckerberg on Internet.org: Connectivity key to socio-economic balance
Mark Zuckerberg is out to change the world through building an infrastructure that will open connectivity to everyone.
In a wide-ranging interview with Wired, the Facebook co-founder and CEO says that the goal is possible to meet in as few as 3 to 5 years, if governments, businesses and other stakeholders work together on the initiative dubbed Internet.org. It would be a mistake to rely solely on altruism or one entity to meet the goal, he says.
The main stumbling block to connectivity is cost. No matter how low the price of mobile phones and other devices, Zuckerberg notes the price tag on data transmissions makes the technology unaffordable for many, thus limiting potential knowledge bases:
A transition naturally has to take place. I taught at a local middle school this year, and a lot of students there didn’t have access to the Internet at home. So there’s a lot of work we need to do in the U.S. It won’t be like, ‘Snap your fingers, everyone has the Internet, and now the world is fixed.’ The Industrial Revolution didn’t happen in a decade, either. You need a foundation so that the change can happen.
Zuckerberg predicts that the next century will usher in a ‘knowledge economy’ that will replace the industrial, resource-based economy. That will even socio-economic disparities, he says:
If you know something, then you can share that — and then the whole world gets richer. But until that happens, there’s a big disparity in wealth. The richest 500 million have way more money than the next 6 billion combined. You solve that by getting everyone online, and into the knowledge economy — by building out the global Internet.