Mozilla and the National Science Foundation want a new internet. One where it’s free and accessible for everybody.
And they’ll pay $2 million for it.
On Wednesday, the two organizations made a call to action for “big ideas that decentralize the web” in as part of the Wireless Innovation for a Networked Society challenges. The challenges include getting internet to communities off the grid, with proposals like a backpack with a computer and wifi router inside.
A decentralized internet sounds like a wild fantasy, and is even a major plot in the latest season of HBO’s Silicon Valley. Richard Hendricks, the stumbling genius founder of Pied Piper on the show, played by Thomas Middleditch, proposes using every phone on the planet to create a new internet.
About 34 million people in the US don’t have access to the internet, and even that pales in comparison to the digital divide in the rest of the world. Globally, 4.4 billion people don’t have internet access — more than half of the world’s population.
Infrastructure is the largest obstacle, and Mozilla hopes with a decentralized web, it will mean a more accessible internet for everyone.