In the long-term, Google dreams of one day supplying the entire world, including remote areas of developing countries, with Internet access that comes from solar-powered balloons. But in the meantime, the search giant will settle with fiber optic networks.
Google’s Project Link aims to bring fiber-optic networks to developing countries so that local providers can offer ultra-fast Internet and cell phone service. This week, Google announced that it’s bringing project link to Uganda’s capital city Kampala. The company says the project is an attempt to foster entrepreneurship and innovation in the city (and maybe get some new Google devotees, as well).
From Google’s blog post on the new service:
Project Link’s network is available today to connect providers to long-distance fiber lines, equipping them with near-unlimited capacity to build and expand services to Ugandans. By making this connection, we’re strengthening a crucial piece of the Internet supply chain. Some parts of the chain are already strong: undersea cables are bringing data to Africa’s shores and mobile providers are expanding services across the continent. We’ve now built quality infrastructure in between these points to deliver the speed and capacity that supports the latest and greatest of the web.
Google isn’t the only tech company working to expand Internet access worldwide. Facebook’s Internet.org consortium hopes to connect at least a billion people around the world who still lack access with at least basic Internet services. Philanthropist Bill Gates, though, thinks the whole enterprise is cute, but in the end, it probably won’t do much to improve lives in Africa.