Good GoogleGoogle, the world’s top Internet search engine, yesterday laid out an ambitious plan to bridge the digital gap across the global community by providing free wireless Internet connections for 3 billion people with no access to cyberspace.
By deploying16 low-orbit satellites within five degrees of the equator, Google aims to transform Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Central and South America - regions where it is hard to set up commercial wired high-speed Internet networks into “hot spots” of wireless Internet access.
Google, celebrating its 10th anniversary, will invest $750 billion in Liberty Global, the international cable TV company controlled by billionaire John Malone, and construct a satellite network by 2010.
The revolutionary project of leading a demographic not exposed to the Internet, one that makes up almost half of the global population, into cyberspace should be carried out by a “global government,” if possible.
But neither the United States nor the United Nations could carry out such a feat.
If Google’s project is realized, a number of people in developing and underdeveloped countries stricken with geographic alienation and poverty will be given the right to participate in the Web space, where information and knowledge are distributed and opinions are exchanged. A direct result could be explosive economic and cultural expansion.
Google, which was founded in 1998 under the mission to “compile a massive index of all the words it sees and their location on each page” on the Internet, is already, in effect, playing the role of a “world government.”
It is offering the most appropriate information to Web searchers by automatically retrieving all the information of the world available on the Internet in all languages.
The information is compiled and analyzed by mobilizing 300,000 computers that operate 24 hours and 365 days a year, depending on the meaning, significance and links between the pieces of information.
Google has built up assets worth $150 billion since it was started as a two-person venture.
It could grow into a kindly giant by pursuing the corporate spirit of sharing and dividing the benefits equally among all participants.
Google’s new challenge of providing free Internet access to 3 billion people around the world is a good example of corporate culture suited to the 21st century - benefiting both the company and consumers through benevolence.