Google in Africa

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New life for network equipment

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Posted by Urs Hoelzle, Senior VP, Operations on Google blog

We take the Internet for granted throughout the U.S. and the westernized world; these days we expect to be “always on.” But in large parts of the globe, this isn’t yet so.

The Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC), a non-profit organization based at the University of Oregon, is working to change that, by bringing potential recipients of computing and networking hardware together with potential donors. By coordinating these donations, the NSRC undertakes projects to connect Internet-neglected areas in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, the Caribbean and elsewhere–and they’ve done so since 1992. (Read about their accomplishments.)

Over the years they’ve found that the most difficult–and most useful–equipment to obtain is routers, switches and wireless equipment. In many cases, a single, relatively inexpensive piece of hardware is the critical factor preventing a network from becoming operational, but in developing areas, networking hardware can be difficult or prohibitively expensive to obtain. We’re pleased to support the NSRC by donating our decommissioned networking hardware. Thus far, we’ve heard that some of our retired switches have been sent to universities across Africa and in Guyana and Thailand. More will be shipping out in the coming months to universities and research institutes in, among others, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Afghanistan and Vietnam.

If your company would like to give financial assistance or hardware, or if you want to look into volunteering, please get in touch. It will truly help connect the world.


Written by aheavens

January 26, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Posted in equipment