Microsoft and Viasat today announced a partnership to help deliver internet access to 10 million people around the globe. This includes 5 million people across Africa. Viasat is part of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative and it will expand the coverage to Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States, as well as prioritize expanding the program to Egypt, Senegal and Angola to deliver internet access to the poor.
“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 we will extend high-speed internet access to 100 million people on the continent of Africa and to a quarter of a billion people living in unserved and underserved areas across the world by 2025,” said Teresa Hutson, Microsoft’s vice president of Technology and Corporate Responsibility
Through Airband, Microsoft and its partners have already delivered high-speed internet access to more than 51 million people globally, including over 4 million in unserved U.S. rural communities and an additional 47 million in 16 unserved and underserved countries outside the U.S.
Back in 2020, Viasat joined Microsoft Azure Orbital ecosystem. Viasat integrated its Real-Time Earth (RTE) solution into the Microsoft platform. It allowed Azure Orbital customers to access RTE functions, including initial commissioning and calibration; telemetry, tracking and command services; and downlinking data.