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Only 1 in 3 people have access to the internet. Facebook are changing that.

Only 1 in 3 people have access to the internet. Facebook are changing that.
Source: BrightVibes

They’re also hoping to beam internet from a plane.

Back in May, Facebook released their project, which gave people access to basic internet services in deprived areas in Africa, Asia and Latin America. 

Today, they updated this project, renaming it Free Basics. Now, the service, which has previously been criticised for limiting what people can access, is much more open. People can use the service to access so much more of the internet, which will help business owners learn basic economics, pregnant women better understand their bodies in time for their child’s birth, and for children to study. 

Source: None

Of course, whatever Facebook do, Google have to do better. Their Project Loon hopes to provide internet access across Sri Lanka through a network of high-altitude balloons. Google signed a deal with the Sri Lankan government back in July, agreeing to universal internet access being made available across the country. 

But it means more competition between the two behemoths, and means more innovation in this field, leading to even more people having internet access. Everyone, in this instance, wins. 

Source: IB Times

Whether it’s Facebook or Google providing it, the importance of the internet can not be understated. 

For example, look at Erika and Esmeralda, two 11 year old besties and innovators. They built a robot arm. Want to know how? You’ll have to head to Bolivia, because they don’t have access to the internet. 

If they did, they could share their ideas with other engineers. They could develop their own skills and show the world their inventions. 

Source: None

In places where the service has been implemented and made available, people have been able to do so much more. Just take a look at some of these Zambians who have been given access to the internet through Free Basics. 

Saeli was able to build mattresses for schoolchildren out of rice husks, all because he was able to search for information through the internet. 

Source: None

Mark Zuckerberg posted this message on his Facebook page, showing just how important the initiative is. 3.4 million people have used BabyCenter and MAMA’s pages through the service to access vital parenting information.

"Connectivity isn’t an end in itself", he wrote. "It’s what people do with it that matters — like raising a healthy family." 

As the project itself states, ‘To unite the world, let’s connect it.’ 

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