Microsoft Airband Initiative
We advance digital equity—access to affordable internet, affordable devices, and digital skills—as a foundation for empowerment and digital transformation across the world.
Addressing digital equity in the US
Millions of people in both rural and urban communities lack access to affordable high-speed internet, affordable devices, or digital skills to participate in school, work, telehealth, and more. What has come to be known as the "digital divide" also disproportionately impacts racial and ethnic minorities.
Closing the global digital divide
Approximately 2.9 billion people around the world do not have access to the internet. We are helping communities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America gain access to digital services and economic opportunities.
We collaborate across private, public, and nonprofit sectors to build solutions for broadband adoption and digital transformation that benefits people, organizations, and their neighborhoods.
We partner with internet service providers, community organizations, public policy groups, and government to accelerate deployment of high-speed internet using cost-effective, hybrid technologies and drive adoption among unserved and underserved communities.
The Microsoft Affordable Computer Initiative strives to improve access to quality devices for communities in need. By offering a variety of devices and payment options, the initiative is designed to meet the unique needs and budgets of the communities and organizations it serves.
As more communities get access to high-speed internet and computers, Microsoft partners with community organizations to provide digital skills training for people of all ages to ensure they have the confidence to navigate the internet and improve their access to education, learn new skills, and get jobs.
Technology can change lives, but only if people have access to it. The Microsoft Airband initiative partners with local organizations to develop solutions to the unique needs of their communities. Since 2017, we have helped more than 33 million people in underserved communities globally gain access to affordable broadband coverage. We also launched pilot programs in eight US cities in 2021 to increase digital equity.
A combination of independent solar-powered microgrids, low-maintenance battery systems, water pumps, and internet access is increasing the resilience of isolated communities in Puerto Rico.
A multi-stakeholder partnership provides high-speed internet to previously unconnected communities and enables young people to reach their highest educational potential.
Access to high-speed internet means access to opportunity. Learn about AirJaldi's efforts to close the gender gap in India by providing opportunities to women.
BLUETOWN deploys last-mile technologies in Ghana to expand rural access to high-speed internet—and economic opportunity.
Learn how we are working with partners in Kenya to improve rural productivity and livelihood in communities that would otherwise not have access to these technological opportunities.
Leaders from Ferry County, WA and the Airband Initiative are leveraging innovative technology to increase high-speed internet access and shore up emergency response.
Cal.net specializes in bringing high speed internet to rural areas. By working with Microsoft and the FCC, they are giving the Central Valley, CA tools to thrive.
Virginia and Maryland
Declaration Networks provides high-speed internet connectivity to rural communities along the Eastern Shore of Virginia and in Garrett County, Maryland.
Identify areas of highest need in the US
Accurate mapping is essential to disburse broadband funds efficiently and maximize resources and investments in communities of highest need. This dashboard is intended to empower state agencies, nonprofits, and policymakers to identify regions within their state with significant digital equity gaps.
We work with internet service provider (ISP) partners that build and embrace multi-technology and multi-frequency solutions. Examples include fiber, TV White Spaces, frequency bands like CBRS, mid-band fixed wireless, Wi-Fi, millimeter waves, and low-earth and geo orbit satellites.
In the news
Learn more about the Microsoft Airband Initiative and explore the latest news and updates.
Bridging the digital equity gap
We must move quickly to extend broadband access while confronting challenges like skilling and affordability. It is up to all of us to build a legacy of connectivity for our communities – one that ensures that no one is left behind.
Addressing racial and digital inequity
Airband is expanding to US cities that face some of the largest broadband gaps among communities of color. Our approach focuses on providing access to affordable broadband, devices, and digital skilling tools and resources.
Eliminating the US rural broadband gap
Microsoft has developed a strategic approach that brings together private and public-sector organizations to help address the needs of millions of people who live in rural America and lack access to high-speed internet.
An essential component of the COVID-19 recovery
This opinion piece outlines a need for investment in innovative wireless technologies, public and private partnerships, and flexible financial models to close the broadband gap.
How high-speed internet is reshaping lives
In rural America, access to high-speed internet is fundamental in an increasingly digital and connected world
The path to prosperity through access to high-speed internet
Through partnerships, Microsoft is committed to closing the digital divide once and for all by connecting everyone in the world to high-speed internet.