Extending affordable Internet access to everyone in the world who wants it is probably a worthwhile endeavor. Information has economic value, after all.
Today, Internet.org launched, a new industry coalition that includes Facebook, Samsung, Ericsson, Nokia, Opera, and Mediatek. It's fronted, at least for the launch, by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.
The initial goal of the organization, as it laid out in a press release and associated New York Times article, are to "cut the cost of providing mobile Internet services to one percent of its current level within five to 10 years by improving the efficiency of Internet networks and mobile phone software."
Right now, Internet.org features exactly one thing above the fold on the site: a video of scenes from around the world, cut in Facebook's characteristic style. A piano tinkles in the background as we see children playing in Africa, agricultural workers in south Asia, people playing games, chasing pigeons, swinging on an amusement park ride, hair blowing in the wind. Friends bicycling along a road in Latin America. Et cetera.
And over the top of these scenes of the globe, we hear John F. Kennedy's New England oratory. He's talking about peace. Here's a complete transcript of what he says in Internet.org's video:
I am not referring to the absolute, infinite concept of peace and good will of which some fantasies and fanatics dream. Let us focus instead on a more practical, more attainable peace. This will require a new effort, a new context for world discussions. It will require increased understanding and increased understanding will require increased contact. So, let us not be blind to our differences -- but let us also direct attention to our common interests. Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.
Who doesn't want to cheer after that? Let's go to the moon!