Microsoft in bid to provide internet for 5mln in Africa

Microsoft in bid to provide internet for 5mln in Africa

Microsoft Corp and Viasat, a global communications company, have announced a new partnership to help provide internet access to 10 million people around the world, including 5 million across Africa.

Viasat is the first satellite partner to work with Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, and together they will deepen Airband’s work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Guatemala, Mexico and the US, as well as expanding the program to Egypt, Senegal and prioritize the US. Angola to deliver much-needed internet connectivity, often for the first time.

This first-of-its-kind global partnership for Airband is an important step in achieving the Initiative’s expansive goal of providing Internet access to a quarter of a billion people around the world, including 100 million people on the African continent, by the end of 2025.

According to the International Telecommunication Union at the UN, approximately one third of the world’s population – or 2.7 billion people – have never used the Internet. Satellite allows Internet access to reach remote areas that previously had few, if any, options for conventional connectivity.

By working together, the companies will combine expertise and assets to help enable telehealth, distance learning and education, precision agriculture, clean power and other services to reach new territories through the transformative provision of power and connectivity. The companies will work together to provide and launch technologies including, but not limited to, satellites (both geostationary orbit and low earth orbit) and fixed wireless.

“We believe access to the internet is a fundamental right and that digital skills create and enable economic prosperity for people, businesses and governments. Through our Airband initiative, by 2025 we will expand high-speed Internet access to 100 million people on the African continent and to a quarter of a billion people living in unserved and underserved areas around the world,” said Teresa Hutson, Microsoft’s vice president of Technology and Corporate Responsibility.

“Partnering with Viasat will allow us to use satellite to reach remote areas that previously had few, if any, options for conventional connectivity. Together, we will be able to rapidly scale and expand Airband’s reach, exploring a wider pipeline of projects and new countries where we have not yet worked.”

Almost one-third of the world’s population lacks online access to education, better medical care, business opportunities, connection with family and more. And most of this population lives in just 20 countries across Africa and the global South. Universal, affordable internet access is part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and by focusing much 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.

“We are proud to partner with Microsoft as this represents another important step in bringing affordable internet service across Africa, Latin America and the US as both companies continue to break down barriers to bridge the digital divide and making significant progress towards digital equity and inclusion,” said Evan Dixon, President, Global Fixed Broadband of Viasat.

“Providing internet access to the world is a challenging and bold goal, and doing so in a sustainable and responsible way will unlock lasting opportunities for those who need it most.”

Copyright 2022 Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (

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