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Google to bankroll, build wireless networks across Africa: WSJ

Published on May 25, 2013 6:19 AM
 
Google chief executive Larry Page at a press annoucement at Google headquarters in New York on May 21, 2013. Google Inc intends to finance, build and help operate wireless networks from sub-Saharan Africa to South-east Asia, hoping to connect a billion or so people in emerging countries to the Internet, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Friday. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Google Inc intends to finance, build and help operate wireless networks from sub-Saharan Africa to South-east Asia, hoping to connect a billion or so people in emerging countries to the Internet, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Friday.

The Internet search giant - which has for years espoused universal Web access - is employing a patchwork quilt of technologies and holding discussions with regulators from South Africa to Kenya, the WSJ cited people familiar with the strategy as saying.

Access to the vast trove of information on the Internet, and the tools to make use of it, is considered key to lifting economies up the value chain. But countries are often hampered by the vast sums needed to build infrastructure, thorny regulations or geographical terrain.

To reach its goal, Google, which benefits the more people have access to its search and other Internet services, is lobbying regulators to use airwaves reserved for television broadcasts, which at lower frequencies can pass through buildings and over longer distances, the WSJ reported.

 
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