We all know what the Internet is. It’s an online network of servers loading files, images, and other data from one location, across a network of servers, all the way to your monitor (or cellphone!) where you are reading this post.

The Internet is a collection of technologies that has come together to create something universal. It connects people to each other, even if they are oceans away. It has nearly all the knowledge of our day at your fingertips – if you know what to search for.

Most of all, the internet provides us opportunities. Opportunities to learn and connect and improve.

So imagine that you are in the middle of the bustling city. You’re surrounded by people, but you can’t talk to any of them. This is the reality of someone without consistent internet access.

Internet access is determined by many things, but the most likely predictor of access is income. With in-home internet ranging anywhere from $50 a month to more than $200 (not to mention hardware), it’s little wonder why many less fortunate individuals forego internet service.

A study based in Illinois revealed the number one reason people forego internet is because of the recurring monthly price. The same 2012 study revealed that 65% of those without Internet cited cost as a reason, and 29% cited cost as the number one reason. Roughly 12 percent of Americans are without in-home Internet, and that number increases for underrepresented minorities, and those under the poverty line.

So what can tech do? A free, universal network is out of reach for the foreseeable future, so what is the next best thing? Hybrid desktop apps and hybrid mobile apps can help bridge the gap between access and none.

Electron is a JavaScript framework that allows us to take our websites and wrap them in a Chromium window. The entire website lives on the user’s computer and the files are served from their hard drive – no network required.

Imagine the possibilities for users to be able to use your app with or without Internet access. Apps no longer requiring Internet – and in turn money – for use. Electron makes this all possible and also allows for seamless transitions between Internet access and no Internet access.

In the next few posts, I’ll show you how.