Bill Gates fund helps Vietnam farmers go online

TN News

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Vietnam authorities have officially launched a US$50.6 million project bringing computer skills and Internet connection to the country's farmers, with funding from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.


The project is expected to enable 760,000 people in Vietnam's rural areas to use computers and the Internet, news website Dan Tri said Sunday.


A total of 12,070 connected computers will be set up at 1,900 places like public libraries in 40 disadvantaged provinces in Vietnam until 2016.


The Ministry of Information and Communication will implement the project with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.


The fund includes nearly $30 million of free support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and $3.64 million worth of Microsoft software. The remaining investment will be raised by the Vietnamese government.


Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai, head of the Library Department of the culture ministry, said people will be allowed to use the computers free of charge at most places and would receive a 50 percent discount in Internet fees at others.


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