Getting more people online
Nearly 50 percent of the global population is not online. The Microsoft Airband Initiative partners with organizations to utilize TV Whites Space (TVWS) devices and other low-cost wireless technologies to make it easier and more affordable for people to get online and participate in today's economy.
Facilitating access to connectivity
Fourteen percent of the global population lack access to electricity which inhibits their ability to access the internet. To facilitate connectivity and increase access, the Microsoft Airband Initiative invests in affordable, off-grid energy providers around the world.
Microsoft will continue to invest in partnerships with telecommunications companies with the goal of bringing broadband connectivity to millions of people. We will provide investment needed to expand broadband coverage, seek a revenue share, and then use proceeds to invest in additional projects.Learn more about our partnerships
Digital skills training
As communities get connected, Microsoft will partner with national and local organizations to provide digital skills training for people of all ages to ensure they have the confidence to navigate the internet—improving education, health care, agriculture, and small business outcomes in these communities.Learn more about digital skills
To serve as a catalyst for market investments by others, and to reach additional rural communities, we provide royalty-free access to dozens of patents and sample source code related to broadband technology.Learn more about our technology
The role of government
The government has a vital role to play in closing the rural broadband gap in the United States. Regulations governing access to spectrum, infrastructure investments, and data collection require attention to eliminate the US rural broadband gap by 2022.Download the fact sheet
A comprehensive strategy
Microsoft outlined a comprehensive rural broadband strategy for the US, documenting a path for the country to help connect the 23m Americans living in rural communities who lack access to broadband today. We also highlighted our own commitment to directly connect 2m of these people through partnerships, play our part in catalyzing the broader tech ecosystem through royalty free access to patents, and a commitment to digital skills training for the communities we reach.