Microsoft has launched an initiative to provide internet access to 10 million people worldwide, including 5 million in Africa.
Microsoft has collaborated with Viasat, a global communications company. It is Microsoft’s first satellite partner to collaborate on the Airband Initiative.
Microsoft and Viasat will work together to expand Airband’s work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States, as well as prioritise expanding the programme to Egypt, Senegal, and Angola in order to provide much-needed internet access, often for the first time.
This is the first global partnership of its kind for Microsoft’s Airband initiative. It is an important step toward the Initiative’s expanded goal of providing internet access to a quarter of a billion people worldwide, including 100 million Africans, by the end of 2025.
According to the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union, roughly one-third of the world’s population, or 2.7 billion people, have never used the internet. Satellite internet access brings internet access to remote areas that previously had few, if any, options for conventional connectivity. Companies may synergise and pool their resources as well as expertise in expanding the reach of health, education, energy, agriculture etc.