21 November 2013
Johannesburg — Google today announced Project Link, an initiative to connect more people in Kampala, Uganda to the Web through a super-fast, high-capacity fiber network to enable any local mobile operator or Internet service provider (ISP) to connect more people in Kampala to a faster, more reliable Internet.
In Kampala and many parts of the world, online activity is halted by pre-broadband speeds or unreliable connections. Project Link is focused on enhancing speed and quality through a metro fiber network. The 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 and deliver speeds that can support the latest and greatest of the Web.
Kai Wulff, an Access Director at Google said, "With Project Link, we're enabling local providers to access a first-class network to serve the city of Kampala. With access to metro fiber, these providers can expand their services in order to meet the demands of a growing population of innovators and entrepreneurs, whether it's fast connections for local hospitals or high-tech learning tools for young people in the classroom and beyond."
Metro fiber works by strengthening a crucial link in the supply chain that connects users to the data they seek, share, and create. Some parts of that chain are already strong: for example, undersea cables are bringing data to Africa's shores, and mobile operators are expanding their services across the continent. Google is now helping to fast-track progress by building quality infrastructure in between these points.
"We want our customers in Uganda to access the Internet without capacity constraints, so they can send large files, upload video, download software updates, and more," said Godfrey Kisekka, Chief Technology Officer, Orange Uganda. "The partnership with Google will enable us to expand our network capacities, thus helping us achieve our ambition to provide users with the best network coverage and high-quality services."
"We are pleased to be working with Google on their Uganda initiative," said Roger Sekaziga, Chief Executive Officer, Roke Telkom. "We believe this collaboration will give us the flexibility to scale our operations with reduced incremental capital expenditure. This will allow us to leverage their platform to address niche markets. Ultimately, we think the consumer will be the beneficiary of these higher speed tiers."
"Project Link is an exciting development for the city of Kampala and surrounding regions," said the CEO of One...Solutions, Claude Vendette. "It's an opportunity for us to build on top of better infrastructure and provide our customers in Uganda robust access to the Internet, larger bandwidth, and continue to deliver new services that allow better overall productivity."
The project is part of Google's larger efforts to help get Africa online. Other projects to improve internet access in Sub Saharan Africa include a recent successful TV White Spaces trial in Cape Town, South Africa, as well as exploring how TV White Spaces technology could be put to use elsewhere on the continent; helping to provide Wi-Fi on over 80 university campuses; and working on peering and caching with network operators in nearly 30 countries to deliver Google content and services to users efficiently and cost-effectively. Google has also provided grants to organisations such as the Network Startup Resource Center, Nigeria ICT Forum, the Tertiary Education and Research Network (TENET) of South Africa, and the Internet Society for their internet access work in Africa.