Global Internet access – latest developments and summary from the Canvy Team

If you are passionate about all tech things, as we are here at Canvy, then you must be aware of Facebook’s attempts to provide global internet access.

 

What does global internet access mean?

Somewhere in January 2017 the planet became aware of its current overall digitization status. More precisely, a global overview powered by We are Social & Hootsuite revealed how more than 50 percent of the world’s population employs Internet connectivity on a regular basis. Or, as the more common expression goes, they are digitally connected.

How does this translate for you? Do you associate a wow moment to this piece of information, or are you slightly perplexed the numbers are not higher?

It probably depends on many factors, such as your location, the social positioning that defines you, your upbringing, your profession and so on. We would venture to say that – if you are reading our blog, you would rather be amazed the number is not higher.

Global internet access would mean a much higher internet connectivity rate – aiming over the 80 percent threshold. But is that possible?

 

Facebook and its quest for Internet connectivity everywhere

Since the big data proves the markets that provide Internet connectivity are way more packed in terms of users (obviously!), the leading tech companies whose global reach depends on ubiquitous connectivity have decided to take things in their hands.

There is a race for global Internet access going on – and it has brought a few things into question.

One of these highlights consists of the special shape taken by this “free Internet” that is in the works. There’s no such thing as a freebie, especially when the backstage involves expensive technology – therefore someone has to sponsor it, or make it profitable in a way. In order to do this, this free internet would be tributary to sponsors, meaning that only certain websites, tools or clusters of information would be available.

And here we go – hello, Internet neutrality dispute! There is an ongoing fight over the way  the Internet would in fact not be the same when made available globally in such a way. Some possible target areas for this type of connectivity have even thought of turning down the possible offer.

 

Social considerations juxtaposed over the need for Internet everywhere

Without global connectivity, there would be no global Internet. No global network, no universal standards, no IoT as the specialists have imagined it. A fragmented network could do, but it will come short of the ideal omni-network some have visualized and also, based their short to medium plans upon.

Due to the fact that social disparities not only plague societies vertically, but also horizontally, it may prove difficult to justify free Internet for some areas in view of their overall low budget, while in other areas the average financial plateau is acceptable, yet this average numbers mark extremes that make the reality different from the figures-based story.

In simpler terms, rural USA areas are as poorly connected as less developed states from the other side of the world are. Yet these rural areas are compensated by the nearby urban conglomerates’ connectivity, hence no free internet eligibility here, whereas less developed states might benefit from a sponsored form of Internet access.

Another issue, that we’ve mentioned above, is the “altered” state of this sponsored free internet connectivity. Check the toll-free data debate.

 

Recent developments – the Facebook drone

That being said – in a nutshell, the leading edge tech companies pursue their global internet connectivity projects – at least its experimental side.

Recently, Facebook’s solar-powered Internet connectivity provider drone, Aquila, successfully completed its test flight in Arizona.

The company intends on developing their drone in such a way that it could be able to fly for months in a row. In fact, the plan is to have a fleet of solar-powered airplanes provide digital connectivity to remote parts of the world.

While a lot of feasibility details have to do with ethics, rules & regulations, the tests proved auspicious. It surely looks like one day we might be able to travel even to the most isolated places, yet benefit from Internet connectivity. Whether it would be the same Internet we know from back home or not, that is – as we’ve seen, a whole different discussion.