22 July, 2009
Hyderabad, (July 22, 2009): Google India today announced that the Internet Bus™ will now tour the state of Andhra Pradesh. This is Google’s initiative to reach out to people with limited knowledge and exposure to the Internet, in India. The Internet Bus™ has seen overwhelming response from people in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka earlier this year.
The bus will visit educational institutes and public places in 16 towns of Andhra Pradesh in the next 48 days. The campaign will focus on four themes – information, communication, entertainment and education. Interactive content – in English and Telegu – will be used to highlight benefits of Internet in people’s daily lives. The company will also engage local cyber café owners with an aim to build advocacy for this powerful medium.
“The interest in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka surpassed our expectations. It was very exciting to see people from different walks of life, visit the bus and learn about what Internet could do for them. The journey so far has been critical from an awareness building perspective. However the challenge is to maintain this momentum by ensuring that people use Internet on a regular basis. We hope that people would remain motivated and visit neighborhood cyber cafes and get internet connectivity for their home and business PCs," remarked Dr. Prasad Ram, Head of Engineering, Google India.
"Mobile based products were a big hit. In Andhra Pradesh, we will lay special emphasis on this medium and showcase how people can access Internet even on low cost data plans and handsets." adds Dr. Ram.
The Internet Bus™ has traveled across 35 towns so far, reaching thousands of first-time Internet users in each town. On one occasion, a group of farmers in Karnataka explored the Internet for agro-development, while a local artist learned how tools like Picasa can be used for showcasing his work to global audience.
Users across India can follow the bus through its journey, see pictures & videos, and join online communities by simply visiting http://www.google.co.in/internetbus. They can also subscribe to receive SMS alerts in Telegu and English with useful tips on internet.
This initiative is aligned with Google’s overall strategy of organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful. In India, Google has been making a significant effort to make the Internet more relevant and accessible to the Indian user. Search has become more local with useful information like business listings, railways and flight status, cricket scores, movie reviews and more. Google has launched products like Google SMS Search™, SMS Channels, Google Voice Local Search™ service, and Google Map Maker™, and has localized many popular Google applications. It has been overcoming language barriers by offering transliteration in 5 Indian languages, Google News™ news service in 4 Indian languages, machine translation for English-to-Hindi (bidirectional), and soft keyboards for a vast majority of Indian languages. Access to information over mobile devices has become easier with mobile maps, mobile search, and mobile orkut™. Google has also created platforms like the Be NetSmart campaign aimed at students, parents and teachers to educate them on Internet safety.
Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google’s targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.google.com.
* Internet Bus™, Google SMS Search™, Google Voice Local Search™, Google Map Maker™, Google News™, orkut™ are trademarks of Google Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.
Communications & Public Affairs Manager