Thursday, November 21, 2013 | 9:16 AM
Africa is home to more than a billion people and is also the fastest growing continent. But only 16% of people are connected to the Internet. That leaves a huge population without access to new opportunities, such as a reliable channel to the latest news, a tool to join in worldwide commerce, or a platform to create and contribute photos, video, and more. This is true even in Africa’s bustling cities, such as Kampala, Uganda.
For the nearly 3 million people living in and around Kampala, the Internet hasn’t been as fast and available as it could be; online activity often sputters on pre-broadband speeds or unreliable connections. That’s why today, we’re announcing Project Link, an initiative to build 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.
Project Link goes beyond basic access; it enables local providers to offer new mobile data plans or high-speed Internet for office buildings and universities, and support newer technologies as they come to market. For Kampala, we hope it’s a foundation to support the needs of a new crop of entrepreneurs and innovators: the media-rich projects of a successful musician, fast connections for local hospitals, or new digital learning tools for students.