Microsoft has partnered with Viasat to deliver satellite internet access to 10 million people across the world, including 5 million in Africa, by 2025.
Viasat is the first satellite partner to work with Microsoft’s Airband Initiative.
According to the International Telecommunication Union at the UN, 2.7 billion people, around one-third of the world’s population, have still never used the internet.
“Working with Viasat, we will use satellite to reach remote areas that previously have had few, if any, options for conventional connectivity,” said Teresa Hutson, vice president of technology and corporate responsibility, Microsoft.
The companies will provide and pilot technologies including, satellites (both geostationary orbit and low earth orbit) and fixed wireless.
“We’re proud to partner with Microsoft as it 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 make significant progress toward digital equity and inclusion,” said Evan Dixon, president, global fixed broadband, Viasat.
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.