When Mark Zuckerberg first announced his plans to create a free wi-fi program for the third world, quite a few responded skeptically. Was this simply a stunt designed to make Facebook look more like a responsible corporate citizen and less like Grand Theft Auto’s “LifeInvader” while adding millions to membership rolls?
Now it seems that most of tech’s biggest names are on the same page, and various projects that look and sound very similar to Internet.org are moving forward with support from the big boys. The most prominent project to date is the Alliance for Affordable Internet, or A4AI, which gained a good bit of attention this week thanks to the backing of the largest names in tech: Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Cisco Systems and, yes, Facebook. The fact that Tim Berners-Lee, aka the inventor of the World Wide Web, serves as the project’s public face only adds to its credibility.