Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Microsoft Awards First Grants to Help Expand Global Internet Access - The New York Times

A step in the right direction

"On Tuesday, the company, which is based in Redmond, Wash., announced the first winners of grants under a new program called the Affordable Access Initiative. The 12 recipients, who will get $70,000 to $150,000 apiece, include a company in Rwanda franchising solar-powered mobile kiosks that provide Wi-Fi and battery recharges, and an Argentine firm that uses monitoring technologies and chatbots so that farmers can keep tabs remotely on the health of their cattle.

That’s a pittance compared with Google, which has built a fiber-optic network in Uganda’s capital and has struck deals in Sri Lanka and Indonesia to eventually beam the Internet down from high-altitude balloons. Nor does it display the ambition of Facebook, which offers a free set of basic Internet services with local phone companies in more than three dozen countries and is testing the first of a planned fleet of large, ultralight drones to deliver Internet service from on high."
Microsoft Awards First Grants to Help Expand Global Internet Access - The New York Times
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