Google dot org blog - News from Googles Philanthropic Arm

Improving Internet access in emerging markets

People are constantly finding new ways to use the Internet to address our biggest challenges: global education, health care, clean water, effective government. But we’ve only scratched the surface on the potential of the Web. Today, 5 billion people still don’t have access to the Internet and the opportunity it provides.

Google is doing work to get more people connected, especially in places where Internet access lags the most. In Sub-Saharan Africa, we’ve created programs such as Google Apps Supporting Programs for Education, offered technical assistance such as caches for Internet providers, and generated ideas to build Internet capacity.

To help bring the next billion people online, is announcing today our support of two organizations that share our mission to connect the world: the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC) and the Internet Society (ISOC).

We are providing $3.1M to the NSRC to grow their work to bring local network engineering expertise to universities and national research & education networks (NRENs) across Sub-Saharan Africa. Through labs and a train-the-trainers program, NSRC will provide hands-on training on campus network planning, deployment, and management for over 600 university and NREN staff. Their work will bring the Internet to students and staff at over 50 institutions and increase network engineering know-how in Sub-Saharan Africa.

KENET-NSRC Campus Network Design Workshop, Photo: NSRC
Lesotho IXP setup. Photo Credit: ISOC/Michuki Mwangi
We are also supporting ISOC, providing $1.3M to improve and create Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) in emerging markets. IXPs play a big role in core Internet infrastructure, allowing Internet Service Providers to peer locally (and cheaply), which can lower end user costs, promote competition, and improve user experience. ISOC will create a toolkit for those who want to create and improve IXPs and build an industry portal to share IXP information and data.

Some of the brightest minds are working to improve lives in new ways through the Internet. By supporting the work of NSRC and ISOC, we can make sure that those opportunities are available to more people in more parts of the world.

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