Google has announced the introduction of its fiber optic network initiative, Project Link, in two cities – Accra and Kumasi, in Ghana. It is set to provide internet access to the millions of people living in these cities.
The initiative which already provides broadband Internet to Kampala, the capital of Uganda
Commenting on the project, Google Ghana country manager Estelle Akofio-Sowah said, “The goal is to bring abundant Internet access to the people who need it most.”
Google installed the new 1,000-kilometer fiber network in June and is on track to offer the service to its first customers by the end of 2016
Project Link sells broadband capacity to other internet service providers and mobile carriers, differing from Google Fibre in that the latter sells broadband capacity to consumers in some American cities while Project Link provides internet services to developing nations via old fashioned underground pipes full of cables. This method is considered to be a more cost effective method as opposed to the use of satellites and drones.
Before joining Google, the managing director of Ghanaian Internet service provider – Busy Internet – Akofio-Sowah, said that Internet capacity hasn’t really reached the public yet and that Internet access in the country is still too unreliable and inexpensive for most. “There are people who want to use the Internet, build apps, run their businesses online,” she says.
“But they simply can’t.”
Project Link’s provision of more broadband to central cities in Ghana will make Internet connections cheaper and more reliable in those cities. However, there might be room for Project Loon which would be useful for bringing Internet access to more remote parts of the country through flying balloons.
Celebrities and tech industry leaders like Mark Zuckerberg, Bono, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, among others, have signed a declaration challenging world leaders to make the internet available to the whole world by 2020. Initiatives like Google’s Project Loon – a fleet of high-altitude balloons designed to bring the Internet to remote areas, Facebook’s Wi-Fi hotspots supplied by solar-powered drones, or Richard Branson’s One Web plans to launch hundreds of low-orbit satellites are efforts towards that challenge.
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