Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) is a new technology industry group launched publicly today that aims to make Internet access cheaper and more accessible in developing markets.
Initially announced by Hilary Clinton back in February and over one year in the making, the public-private initiative is supported by over 30 companies and organizations, including Microsoft, Google, Intel, Yahoo and Facebook. The goal is to lead policy development in developing markets, where it is claimed that one month of Internet access can be equivalent to two months of wages for a worker.
Among its activities, the organization will publish and promote policy and regulatory best practices, conduct research, produce reports and “facilitate dialogue” across its membership base and key stakeholders.
The group will focus on emerging technologies such as white space — which Microsoft, Google and others are piloting in Africa — which is seen as key to reducing the cost of Internet access, which could help more of the world’s population to enjoy the benefits of the Web, such as learning and communication.
The A4AI is initially focused on three markets in Africa, but it aims to cover “at least twelve countries” across Asia, Africa and Latin America by the end of 2015.
➤ Alliance for Affordable Internet
Related: Facebook and telecom partners launch Internet.org to drive universal, global Internet access
Headline image via leolintang / Shutterstock
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