Google Inc., the Internet's most profitable company, is giving $2 million to support Wikipedia, a volunteer-driven reference tool that has emerged as one of the Web's most-read sites.
Wikimedia Foundation, owner of Wikipedia, said Wednesday that Google has donated $2 million to further develop the popular encyclopedia and other projects.
Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's founder, broke the news on Twitter on Tuesday, followed by a formal announcement from the nonprofit organization.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin, in a statement, called Wikipedia "one of the greatest triumphs of the Internet…this vast repository of community-generated content is an invaluable resource to anyone who is online."
The search giant's funds will be used on technology projects to help Wikipedia handle its increasing bandwidth and multimedia needs.
Wikimedia currently relies on two data centers, one in Florida and another in Amsterdam, with bandwidth services donated by a Dutch company. "Considering the rise of server traffic from outside of Europe and the U.S., it's become important for us to look at expanding our data centers in new locations," said Jay Walsh, Wikimedia's spokesman.
Mr. Walsh said that the grant could also help the foundation's outreach activities, which are aimed at increasing contributions from subject-matter experts, students and academics, as well as developing better teaching and learning tools.
Wikimedia received more than $8 million in donations during a January fund-raiser, three-fourths of its revenue target for the fiscal year.
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