For most of us, getting access to the Internet regardless of where we are isn't that challenging. If we're on-the-go, we can use our mobile phone, while at home, we can enjoy high-speed connections that let us do a variety of important and fun activities. In many countries, though, access to the World Wide Web isn't just challenging, it's expensive. It's for that reason that Facebook's just-launched Internet.org app in Zambia is significant.
With this app, those in Zambia who subscribe to the carrier Airtel will have access to a wide-range of Internet services - all without the fear of being charged for the data usage. These services include Wikipedia, AccuWeather, Google's Search, a number of local services dedicated to health and job searching, and of course, Facebook and Facebook Messenger.
It's Facebook's promise that this roll-out is just the beginning. In a Facebook post, company CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that only 15% of Zambians currently have access to the Internet. That's a truly sad statistic - a lot of us would go nuts if we had to go 15% of the day without Internet access! Not only will this new-found access to Airtel subscribers be hugely appreciated, friends can help friends access the Internet as well. Of most importance, these people will be able to get quick access to health information, and job searches.
It's not hard to dislike a number of Facebook's decisions over the years, but this is one we can all agree on being awesome. It'll be even better once we see the roll-out ramp-up.