Internet access is astonishingly expensive in some parts of the world. The International Telecommunications Union estimates that fixed broadband costs 30 percent of the average monthly wage within the developing world [PDF]. To address this, Google, Facebook, USAID and a host of top-tier tech companies have teamed up to make the Internet universally affordable. The newly launched Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) aims to achieve the UN development goals of keeping Internet access costs below 5 percent of monthly income worldwide.
Unlike Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet access nonprofit, Internet.org, the Alliance will focus on policy-driven solutions, including “innovative allocation of spectrum, promoting infrastructure sharing, and increasing transparency and public participation in regulatory decisions.”