The Microsoft Airband initiative is being internationalized, with a newly formalized objective for 40 million more people to connect to the Internet in July 2022. The program, which was launched in 2017 with the aim of improving internet access rural in the United States, is expanding to offer better Internet access in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
In the United States, Microsoft relies on unused TV blank (TVWS) that operates in the 600 MHz spectrum to offer broadband access to 3 million Americans. However, internationally, Microsoft's efforts will depend on both TVWS and other "innovative technologies." The company aims to partner with local organizations to understand the specific needs of each area; working with governments to eliminate regulatory obstacles to technology, and with ISPs to offer Internet access to end users.
Microsoft boasts that its international efforts have already had some success. In Colombia, for example, it has completed a small project to connect two schools and five farms to the Internet using TVWS technology, and has also invested together with local ISPs to extend Internet access to 6 million rural Colombians. In Ghana, work was done to deregulate TVWS technology in a movement that will allow a broadband provider to offer its services to up to 800,000 people.
Microsoft is not the only company that focuses on connecting areas of the developing world. to the Internet The Google "Next Billion Users" initiative aims to make its services available to more people around the world, while Facebook has explored everything from internet drones to satellites in its search to allow more people to connect to Internet. The motivation is simple; For all three companies, each new Internet user is another potential customer.