Microsoft & Viasat Announce Partnership For Internet Access To Underserved Communities In Africa & Globally.
Microsoft and Viasat have announced a partnership to help deliver internet access to 5 million people in Africa and another 5 million globally. Viasat is the first satellite partner to work with Microsoft’s Airband Initiative to deepen Airband’s work in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States, as well as prioritize expanding the program, Senegal, and Angola to deliver much-needed internet connectivity often for the first time.
Microsoft’s Airband initiative is a collaborative effort across private, public, and nonprofit sectors to build solutions for broadband adoption and digital transformation that benefits people, organizations, and their neighborhoods. Through Airband, Microsoft partners with internet service providers, community organizations, public policy groups, and governments to accelerate the deployment of high-speed internet using cost-effective, hybrid technologies and drive adoption among unserved and underserved communities.
The Airband initiative will expand through new partnerships with local and global providers to bring internet access to 100 million Africans by the end of 2025 which is part of a broader global ambition to bring internet access to a quarter of a billion people around the world by the end of 2025. Nearly one-third of the world’s population is lacking online access to education, better medical care, business opportunities, connection with family, and more. By focusing a large portion of this new partnership on Africa, Microsoft and Viasat are working to deliver connectivity and digital literacy for better education, healthcare, and economic opportunity in critical markets.
Through Airband, Microsoft has already delivered high-speed internet access to more than 51 million people globally, including over 4 million in unserved US rural communities and an additional 47 million in 16 unserved and underserved countries outside of the US. Launched in 2017, Microsoft’s Airband Initiative works through partnerships to advance access to affordable internet and relevant digital skills around the world. Microsoft believes access to the Internet is a fundamental right for everyone as it delivers access to education, information, and personal needs fulfillment.