Google, Microsoft and others join the Alliance for Affordable Internet

By on October 7, 2013, 5:00 PM
google, microsoft, internet, world wide web, web, tim berners-lee, a4ai, alliance for affordable internet

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, Intel and over two dozen other organizations have joined an effort to make broadband Internet more affordable in developing countries. The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) says its primary interest is fulfilling the UN Broadband Commission's goal of making entry-level broadband available for less than 5% of every region's monthly income -- a target that is currently well off mark.

Citing ITU research, the coalition's FAQ page says only a third of the world is online and most of those who aren't connected simply can't afford to be. In less developed countries, a low-end broadband line costs about 30% of a person's average monthly income versus 2% for developed areas. In particularly rough spots such as Mozambique, it's said that one gigabyte of data can cost as much as two months of a worker's earnings.

"With the advent of affordable smartphones, new undersea cables and innovations in wireless spectrum usage, there is simply no good reason for the digital divide to continue," said WWW inventor and A4AI Secretariat Tim Berners-Lee. "The real bottleneck now is anti-competitive policies that keep prices unaffordable. The alliance is about removing that barrier and helping as many as possible get online at reasonable cost."

A4AI's 30+ private and public sector members plan to make that happen by lobbying for updated policies that encourage "open, competitive and innovative broadband markets." The group intends to approach three to four African states by the end of this year and at least 12 countries by 2015. Along with pushing a standardized set of best practices, the non-profit will release an annual "Affordability Report" starting this December.




User Comments: 14

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3 people like this | Guest said:

Makes sense, how else would the NSA record everything you do if you can't afford the Internet.

t3chn0vamp said:

Makes sense, how else would the NSA record everything you do if you can't afford the Internet.

Agree !

psycros psycros said:

"With the advent of affordable smartphones, new undersea cables and innovations in wireless spectrum usage, there is simply no good reason for the digital divide to continue," said WWW inventor and A4AI Secretariat Tim Berners-Lee. "The real bottleneck now is anti-competitive policies that keep prices unaffordable. The alliance is about removing that barrier and helping as many as possible get online at reasonable cost."

The US is the most anti-competitive market of them all! How about these AMERICAN companies start with their mother country where over 20% of the population has no access to affordable broadband??

Levi Sterling Levi Sterling said:

"With the advent of affordable smartphones, new undersea cables and innovations in wireless spectrum usage, there is simply no good reason for the digital divide to continue," said WWW inventor and A4AI Secretariat Tim Berners-Lee. "The real bottleneck now is anti-competitive policies that keep prices unaffordable. The alliance is about removing that barrier and helping as many as possible get online at reasonable cost."

The US is the most anti-competitive market of them all! How about these AMERICAN companies start with their mother country where over 20% of the population has no access to affordable broadband??

I pay 30 bucks a month for shit internet, its 70 ******* dollars for Gigabit from google lets do some math

my internet at 1.5Mb/s is $30 a month for that rate 1 Gb/s would be $20000 a month, hmm somethings wrong here. I LIVE IN KANSAS where google fiber is, Uverse is what I have because google is going slow, thats fine, WHY IS THIS SHIT SO OVERPRICED

mailpup mailpup said:

Levi, please don't shout. Thanks.

BlueDrake said:

"With the advent of affordable smartphones, new undersea cables and innovations in wireless spectrum usage, there is simply no good reason for the digital divide to continue," said WWW inventor and A4AI Secretariat Tim Berners-Lee. "The real bottleneck now is anti-competitive policies that keep prices unaffordable. The alliance is about removing that barrier and helping as many as possible get online at reasonable cost."

The US is the most anti-competitive market of them all! How about these AMERICAN companies start with their mother country where over 20% of the population has no access to affordable broadband??

US is anti-competitive? Come live in Canada, where you're basically screwed. We have 3 companies here, which basically dictate everything for internet, mobile and such. They got all up in arms, because a US company was 'invading' on Canadian soil. I'd be happy if we had more competition, to actually bring our price of internet down.

Limitations keep me with DSL, and that's either a line + internet (which I use) or switch to a dry loop. Honestly.. at $150 a month for a 15/1 internet, I think Canada is where you're screwed even more. Too far from the central hub, so we're not even getting our full 15/10 to begin with. Obviously they ignore the smaller cities, so long as you make the download speed it's fine.

Bubbajim Bubbajim said:

60mb/s for 1.2% of my monthly wage. London rocks.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

The US is the most anti-competitive market of them all! How about these AMERICAN companies start with their mother country where over 20% of the population has no access to affordable broadband??

Correction: capitalism is anti-competitive. By it's very nature, the aim is to squash your competition so you have a monopoly then you pick your price and don't spend money on infrastructure because you own the market anyway. Without some form of regulation, natural market forces alone can't prevent this from occurring.

Also Canada and USA don't have much on Australia. We have a single private company owning practically the entire telecomms infrastructure across the entire country and they have barely spent any money since they became private. Why would they?

t3chn0vamp said:

I pay 30 bucks a month for **** internet, its 70 ****ing dollars for Gigabit from google lets do some math

my internet at 1.5Mb/s is $30 a month for that rate 1 Gb/s would be $20000 a month, hmm somethings wrong here. I LIVE IN KANSAS where google fiber is, Uverse is what I have because google is going slow, thats fine, WHY IS THIS **** SO OVERPRICED

You must be so lucky to live in Kansas City. Google Fiber is the future.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Makes sense, how else would the NSA record everything you do if you can't afford the Internet.

Agree !

You've gotta see the bigger picture here. I've been to Mozambique numerous times and I've seen the squalor and poverty. Believe me, these poor people activities will not interest the NSA one iota. They can't even afford a loaf of bread let alone send covert emails to try overthrow the American govt. They don't even know what the internet is. Once you've seen how these people live, you'll get down on your knees and give thanks, in fact, you'd rather deal with the NSA's dirty tricks. People like us don't realize how lucky we are, we take everything for granted. I'm extremely pleased that these large corporations are doing something like this.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

"With the advent of affordable smartphones, new undersea cables and innovations in wireless spectrum usage, there is simply no good reason for the digital divide to continue," said WWW inventor and A4AI Secretariat Tim Berners-Lee. "The real bottleneck now is anti-competitive policies that keep prices unaffordable. The alliance is about removing that barrier and helping as many as possible get online at reasonable cost."

The US is the most anti-competitive market of them all! How about these AMERICAN companies start with their mother country where over 20% of the population has no access to affordable broadband??

I pay 30 bucks a month for shit internet, its 70 ******* dollars for Gigabit from google lets do some math

my internet at 1.5Mb/s is $30 a month for that rate 1 Gb/s would be $20000 a month, hmm somethings wrong here. I LIVE IN KANSAS where google fiber is, Uverse is what I have because google is going slow, thats fine, WHY IS THIS SHIT SO OVERPRICED

You're lucky to live in Kansas. Try living in Mozambique, a country I'm familiar with. Once you've seen how these poor people live, you won't complain about the cost of your internet anymore. In fact we don't have much to complain about.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

@ Skidmarksdeluxe : So they're providing them with affordable Internet when what they really need is food? I guess they can Google the effects of starvation and know what they'll be going through before they die.

t3chn0vamp said:

@ Skidmarksdeluxe : So they're providing them with affordable Internet when what they really need is food? I guess they can Google the effects of starvation and know what they'll be going through before they die.

Exactly !

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