Facebook’s Internet.org which was renamed to Free Basics is a project by the company to connect the unplugged section of the population with basic online services. It was a big venture since there are more people who are unplugged from the internet than those who are connected and other online companies are Google are in the race too.
However, we have never known how many people currently use the service until yesterday when Mark Zuckerberg shared a statistic about the service: 19 million people are connected to the service.
It may seem like a low number due to the fact that it has been launched in 17 developing countries and has quite the potential. It gives the users access to information like the weather, news, sports and also to Facebook apps like itself and Messenger. For some people, this will be their internet and Facebook wants to be their only access to the internet via this platform.
This is why Facebook has embarked on projects to connect more people from developing countries. They were reported to have a partnership with Eutelsat so as to use a satellite as a means of connecting population to the internet. Also, it was reported they will use drones that fly at the normal passenger plane altitude that will act as orbiting base-stations. It does not end there where they were reported testing Laser beams in the quest of connecting the unplugged communities to the internet.
I pointed out that the effort by Facebook to connect the unplugged population will be one of the key things to watch out this year and the efforts to attain the goal will not die any soon.