Cloudflare Launches Project Pangea to Help Underserved Communities Expand Access to the … SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cloudflare, Inc. (NYSE: NET), the security, performance, and reliability company helping to build a better Internet, today announced a new initiative to improve Internet access for underserved communities around the world. Through Project Pangea, eligible local communities can use Cloudflare’s performance and security services–for free–to more reliably and securely connect to the global Internet without paying the high costs of bandwidth. By providing its security and network services, Cloudflare is helping local groups or nonprofits that build their own telecom infrastructure find a free and sustainable way to connect people who rely on the Internet for everything from communication to education and economic development. Nearly half of the world’s population has no access to the Internet, with many more limited to poor, expensive, and unreliable connectivity. Many communities rely on non-profits or form local groups to build their own networks by erecting Wi-Fi antennas or laying fiber optic cables. This allows them to build a network in a town that connects homes and businesses together, but it remains very expensive to connect that network to the Internet. Bandwidth is either unavailable or unaffordable because existing providers don’t have the economies of scale to provide it, or because regional policies and regulations favor urban markets. The problem is not limited to developing nations and exists across the globe. In the United States for example, 21 million people have no high-speed connection despite large levels of public investment and private infrastructure. Now, Cloudflare is offering a chance for communities to get the Internet experience they deserve–performant, reliable, and secure. “Safe, reliable, and sustainable Internet access is a basic human right,” said Matthew Prince, co-founder & CEO of Cloudflare. “Unfortunately many communities are building their own infrastructure only to be blocked by high bandwidth costs. We want to help where we can–if they’ve already built the connecting roads, we want to offer our network as the safe, accessible highway to the global Internet.” Cloudflare’s global network spans more than 200 cities in over 100 countries, and interconnects with over 9,500 networks globally, including major ISPs, cloud services, and enterprises. This allows Cloudflare to offer a secure, affordable way to expand access to the Internet that can grow with, and contribute to, the sustainability of these networks, as well as be ready for any new networks that launch. To participate in this initiative, network organizers can visit the Project Pangea website to view the technical requirements and to register interest. With Project Pangea, community network organizers will be able to: Find a free on-ramp to the Internet: Eligible communities can sign up for Project Pangea to get free, reliable, and high-quality connectivity without being left behind or overcharged by traditional ISPs. Operate secure and performant networks for everyone: Not only does Project Pangea provide connectivity to communities, but also Cloudflare’s security tools to make networks resilient in the face of cyberattacks. With access to Cloudflare Network Interconnect, Magic Transit, and Magic Firewall, networks will be able to stay online and protect users while giving them a fast Internet experience. Take advantage of Cloudflare’s global infrastructure footprint: Cloudflare’s global network spans more than 200 cities in over 100 countries, and interconnects with over 9,500 networks globally. This makes it one of the most reachable networks in the world, with communities able to connect to the data center that is closest to them, resulting in a faster and more stable connection. Project Pangea Participants “As a community-owned wireless ISP based in rural South Africa, we advocate for digital equity and for Internet that is truly affordable,” said Sol Luca de Tena, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Zenzeleni Networks NPC. “To do this, we work with a range of partners to help make Community Networks become mechanisms for positive change. With Cloudflare’s Project Pangea, we see an opportunity to further improve how communities can gain affordable and secure connectivity to the Internet.” “HUBS is a cooperative of community networks in Scotland with a goal of enabling reliable, fast Internet through affordable technical solutions. By connecting rural areas with Internet infrastructure and services, we can give people in those communities access to and representation on the Internet,” said Gordon Hughes, Executive Director of HUBS CIC. “Cloudflare’s Project Pangea will help make it easy for networks to ensure affordability and reliability for the community while also feeling at ease that they’re secure and protected.” “As a group of activists for free community networks in Argentina, AlterMundi strives to help solve connectivity problems in populations neglected by the market,” said Nicolás Echániz, founder of AlterMundi. “Low costs and high performance are necessary for networks to help their communities thrive– which is one of the reasons we’re intrigued by the potential of Project Pangea could bring to bridging the connectivity divide that many areas face.” “As the largest community network in the US, working with New Yorkers to close the digital divide, NYC Mesh is looking forward to collaborating with Cloudflare to better serve the communities we connect,” said Zachary Giles, Volunteer Network Admin at NYC Mesh. “At guifi.net, we welcome the contribution of a leading company such as Cloudflare to the community networks ecosystem. Project Pangea addresses the recurrent blocking factor of Internet access in a meaningful manner (free for the small, at cost for the larger) from a privileged position,” said Ramon Roca, President of the Guifi.net Foundation. “Thus, we are convinced that this project can become a milestone in the history of community networks.” Industry Support “Communities need connectivity to thrive and to connect to schools, to jobs, to opportunity, and to each other,” said Jane R. Coffin, Senior Vice President of Internet Growth at Internet Society, a global nonprofit organization that promotes the development and use of the Internet. “Since 2010, we’ve been working with partners around the world to scale community networks and to empower the people who need the Internet to also build it. This is why we’re excited to see how Cloudflare’s Project Pangea can help make these networks more secure and efficient–and ultimately contribute to a more open, globally connected, and secure Internet.” “Access to the Internet is a fundamental requirement of life, and trustworthy and secure internet services are a vital pillar of Digital Trust,” said Daniel Dobrygowski, Head of Governance and Trust at the World Economic Forum. “From our work on the Internet for All initiative all the way through the new Edison Alliance, the World Economic Forum has expanded access to the Internet and spurred global cooperation on the public goods of cybersecurity, digital trust, and good governance of technology. We welcome Cloudflare’s Project Pangea as a valued contributor to a more equal, accessible, and trustworthy global Internet.” “Access to the Internet should be open, accessible and affordable to all. Mozilla has long been committed to supporting communities across the world, particularly in rural areas, to bring people online,” said Alice Munyua, Director Africa Mradi at Mozilla. “Today, we are excited to see the launch of Cloudflare’s Project Pangea for the approach it is taking to help communities benefit from more affordable access to the global Internet backbone.” “At the Association for Progressive Communications, we focus on creating an enabling environment for community networks, supporting those unconnected who want to connect themselves,” said Carlos Rey-Moreno, Co-Lead of the Local Networks initiative at APC. “One of the challenges the community network movement faces is the high costs for secure and reliable Internet–a roadblock that we believe Cloudflare is well positioned to help overcome.” Resources About Cloudflare Cloudflare, Inc. (www.cloudflare.com / @cloudflare) is on a mission to help build a better Internet. Cloudflare’s suite of products protect and accelerate any Internet application online without adding hardware, installing software, or changing a line of code. Internet properties powered by Cloudflare have all web traffic routed through its intelligent global network, which gets smarter with every request. As a result, they see significant improvement in performance and a decrease in spam and other attacks. Cloudflare was named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top Company Cultures 2018 list and ranked among the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company in 2019. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Cloudflare has offices in Austin, TX, Champaign, IL, New York, NY, San Jose, CA, Seattle, WA, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Lisbon, London, Munich, Paris, Beijing, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo. © 2021 Cloudflare, Inc. All rights reserved. Cloudflare, the Cloudflare logo, and Project Pangea are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Cloudflare, Inc. in the U.S. and other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.
Box launches native e-signature functionality for businesses Rethinking employee benefits in a post-pandemic world There’s no going back to the 2019 playbook, particularly for benefits. Learn what employees expect in the new normal, and how you can keep a competitive edge. Register Now! All the sessions from Transform 2021 are available on-demand now. Watch now. Cloud storage and content collaboration company Box has officially expanded into e-signatures with the launch of Box Sign. The launch comes six months after Box acquired Dutch e-signature startup SignRequest in a deal worth $55 million. Up until now, Box had offered e-signature functionality via third-party integrations such as DocuSign and HelloSign, but taking SignRequest under its wing signaled the company’s intentions to offer native support directly inside Box. That is what is launching today. Sign of the times Remote work appears here to stay for millions of people, and digital transformation has been the key phrase of 2021, creating fertile ground for cloud-based technologies to flourish. After all, why fax or mail documents or travel halfway around the world to sign a contract when you can do it all entirely online in an instant? This shift has been mirrored across industries, with digital identity verification spend skyrocketing as companies embrace remote onboarding. And notarizing, which requires qualified personnel to witness signatures involving high-stakes legal documents, has also had to transition to the virtual sphere, with leading provider Notarize recently securing $130 million in funding from big names that include Alphabet’s CapitalG. Today’s rollout from Box also plays into a broader shift toward a truly paperless office, one that has been decades in the making. “Every day, more transactions are moving from paper-based manual workflows to the cloud, and we will only see this trend accelerate as companies shift to a hybrid work environment,” Box chief product officer Diego Dugatkin said in a press release. Box Sign can be used to send an unlimited number of documents from within the Box web app, with the ability to request signatures from anyone — even if they don’t use Box. It supports four standard fields: date, checkbox, text, and the signature itself. Above: Box Sign Other notable features include templates for common processes like NDAs; email reminders and deadline notifications; serial and parallel document routing so multiple users can e-sign a document simultaneously or sequentially; and real-time e-signature tracking for company admins. Box Sign is available from today at no additional cost for a “subset” of customers on the company’s premium business and enterprise plans, and it will be rolling out more widely later this year. It’s worth noting that subscribers on the Enterprise plan will have access to additional features, including the ability to include attachments for signers or senders to review and bulk actions — that is, sending individual signature requests to a larger group of recipients. Box also today launched a new Enterprise Plus plan, which will include “extra” features, including all the major add-ons that haven’t been available as part of a monthly subscription so far, such as its automated malware detection tool Box Shield. In terms of e-signatures, the Enterprise Plus plan will include the ability to send documents for signatures directly from Salesforce, which Box has had a deep integration with for several years now. Box Sign will also eventually be made available to those on the paid Starter plan too, though with limited features. Put another way, e-signature functionality could help Box lure paying customers onto higher-value plans. VentureBeat VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access: up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you our newsletters gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More networking features, and more Become a member