Google has unveiled a new initiative called Project Link that aims to spread internet access to developing areas across the globe. Through the project, Google will begin building fiber optic networks in areas that don't already have access to fast and reliable internet. The fiber will connect existing, local networks to the undersea cables that pipe internet between continents, which Google says will allow the area's internet service providers and mobile operators to begin expanding and improving their services.
"We want this to be a sustainable model that can grow to reach the most people."
The project is still a business initiative though: Google will charge operators to hook into its network, which it says will allow the project to keep growing. "We want this to be a sustainable model that can grow to reach the most people," a Google spokesperson tells The Verge in an email. "To do that, we are taking a business approach and making the network available to any and all mobile operators or ISPs in the region who want to sign on as customers."
The first Project Link network is already running in Kampala, Uganda's capital, and is still being built out farther. Google says that it chose Kampala because while city is bustling, its businesses and citizens have been held back by poor internet. "Kampala ... is a very young city with a burgeoning tech, business, and even jazz scene," Google says. "High-speed broadband can help propel all these things forward." Though Google doesn't say where Project Link might head next, it tells us it's "a promising model for other African cities." The implication from Project Link's website, however, is that Google won't be focusing solely on Africa — so it could pop up anywhere that Google sees an area with room for growth.