Awards Grants Totaling $4.4 Million to Expand Internet Access has announced grants totaling $4.4 million to expand Internet access across sub-Saharan Africa and other emerging markets.

The philanthropic arm of search giant Google awarded $3.1 million to the University of Oregon's Network Startup Resource Center to provide local network engineering expertise to universities and national research and education networks (NREN) across the sub-Saharan region. Through labs and a train-the-trainers program, NSRC will provide hands-on network planning and deployment instruction to more than six hundred university and NREN staff at over fifty institutions.

In addition, awarded $1.3 million to the Internet Society to create and improve Internet exchange points (IXP) in emerging markets, establish a methodology to assess IXPs, and providing training to local Internet service providers. IXPs play a critical role in core Internet infrastructure, enabling ISPs to peer locally and more cheaply, thereby lowering end-user costs and improving the user experience.

"The Internet Society has proved to be one of the most effective institutions in the Internet community," said Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google. "I am confident that they will apply their grant wisely to extend their work to increase Internet access for everyone, including those in emerging markets."