Microsoft announced that it has partnered with global communications company Viasat to deliver satellite internet access to 10 million people across the world by 2025.
Viasat is the first satellite partner to work with Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, and together they will deepen Airband’s work, Microsoft said in a blogpost on Wednesday.
According to the International Telecommunication Union at the UN, around one-third of the world’s population, that is, 2.7 billion people, 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. Together, we will be able to rapidly scale and expand Airband’s reach, exploring a wider pipeline of projects and new countries where we haven’t yet worked,” 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.
By working together, the companies will combine their expertise and assets to help enable telehealth, distance learning and education, precision agriculture, clean power and other services to reach new areas through the transformational provision of power and connectivity.
“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.