Wikimedia Foundation highlights
Pilot project for free mobile access to Wikipedia via text messages in Kenya
Wikipedia Zero, the program to provide access to Wikipedia on mobile phones free of data charges, became available in Kenya this month. The partnership with mobile provider Airtel also involves a pilot project testing free access to Wikipedia via USSD/SMS. For the first time, this service enables people who cannot afford data-enabled smartphones to read Wikipedia through SMS on low-cost basic phones (“feature phones“).
Video about South African students’ grassroot efforts to get Wikipedia free on their cellphones
In November 2012, the students of Sinenjongo High School, South Africa wrote an open letter on Facebook, encouraging cellphone carriers to waive data charges for accessing Wikipedia, so they can do their homework. Victor Grigas and filmmaker Charlene Music visited them and asked them to read their open letter on camera, resulting in a short video that was published this October. Help is welcome with the translation, design and promotion of this video and of the longer documentary that will be published about the students’ call for the carriers to sign up to the Wikipedia Zero partnership program organized by the Wikimedia Foundation.
Planning the replacement of the Florida data center
The Wikimedia Foundation’s Technical Operations team published a detailed request for proposals (RfP), inviting offers for the location of a new data center in the United States. It will join the existing primary data center in Virginia, and replace the data center in Tampa, Florida. Wikipedia and its sister projects have been hosted in Florida since 2004.