Through a partnership with the US operator Viasat, Microsoft announces its intention to extendInternet access via satellite to 10 million people worldwide by the end of 2025, half of them in Africa.
This includes priority internet connection coverage for 5 million people in Egypt, Senegal and Angola. Microsoft talks about providing an Internet connection, often for the first time.
Other countries cited in a press release are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Guatemala, Mexico and also the United States for rural areas and communities.
An Airband initiative launched in 2017
The partnership with Viasat is part of a Airband initiative carried by Microsoft. It dates back to 2017, first to improve high-speed Internet access in underserved rural areas of the United States. It was later expanded to a larger global scale.
The Airband program is mainly based on the utilization of TV frequencies, which are not used in certain regions. These parts are referred to as white spaces.
According to Microsoft, the Airband initiative has so far provided high-speed Internet access to more than 51 million people worldwideincluding more than 4 million in rural US communities and 47 million in 16 unserved or underserved countries outside the US.
Also for new markets
Viasat will be the first satellite operator to partner in the Airband initiative. The latter’s overall ambitions are to provide internet access to around 250 million people by the end of 2025, with 100 million of these people live in Africa.
Today we’re announcing new plans to deepen our work and scale our commitment to delivering digital connectivity and skills building in Africa: ?https://t.co/W8oF0PJ21F
— Microsoft On the Issues (@MSFTIssues) 14 December 2022
” We believe that internet access is a fundamental right and that digital skills create and enable economic prosperity for people, businesses and governments “, says Microsoft. The group naturally also has a financial interest in the matter for the rollout of its solutions.
According to a report published in September by the International Telecommunications Union, an agency of the United Nations, one third of the world’s population does not have internet accesswith an estimated 2.7 billion people.