The Internet Society Foundation is committed to supporting projects that expand Internet access, connectivity and resiliency for communities around the world. Since 2021, we’ve awarded a total of 4 million in funding towards these efforts through our Building Opportunities/Leveraging Technologies (BOLT) and Resiliency grant programs.
We’re excited to have awarded seven grants to organizations that are developing novel solutions to expand Internet connectivity and access, and supporting communities to build Internet resiliency when faced with unexpected events such natural disasters.
Read more about these projects that are helping to bridge the digital divide and promote a more resilient Internet.
BOLT Program Awardees
Instituto Nupef – Brazil – $200,000 to support the testing of new wireless technologies to enhance Internet connectivity for sparse, low-density communities, especially in the Northern region of Brazil. The project aims to solve Internet connectivity, affordability and quality gaps faced by people who live in geographically challenging areas that are not served by traditional radio, cellular or cabling connection technologies.
Kenya Education Network – Kenya – $200,000 to expand the Kenya Education Network (KENET)’s existing broadband network to bring affordable and high-speed Internet connectivity to 20 selected rural-based anchor institutions including schools, hospitals and public libraries. With this expansion, KENET will bridge the digital divide by giving the institutions and local population access to online resources and building the digital skills of the neighboring communities in partnership with the anchor universities.
Media Justice – US – $200,000 to launch a project called BOLT Amplify, that will train and co-create with BOLT grantees to craft soundscapes: collages of stories, thoughts, and environmental sounds that articulate the impact of the BOLT grant on them and their community.
Student Freedom Initiative in partnership with Connect Humanity – US – $200,000 to bring high-speed, affordable Internet, along with devices and digital skills training, to communities with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their surrounding areas. This will result in enhanced wireless broadband connectivity in on-campus areas where current wireless signal coverage is weak or non-existent.
Resiliency Program Awardees
Information Technology Disaster Resource Center – US – $480,000 to locate self-contained, emergency communications trailers in 10 major urban areas around the United States, in order to enhance emergency response and preparedness operations, and specifically address Internet connectivity across all disaster recovery phases.
Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers – India – $495,574 to to train village level technicians and entrepreneurs in the states of Karnataka, Kerala, and Bihar, equipping them with the capacity to deploy Internet connections and repair them, especially during disasters.
Research Education Network Uganda – Uganda – $500,000 to install underwater Internet fiber optic cables that will connect Bugala Island to the Internet, benefiting a community of students, researchers, and health care professionals. The project will also build the community’s technical skills by training technology staff, with the aim of increasing their readiness to support Internet connectivity during disasters and emergencies.