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.

Strategic investments

Microsoft will continue to invest in partnerships with companies with the goal of bringing broadband connectivity to millions of people in the US and around the world.


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 Microsoft Airband ini­tiative partners with local organizations to develop cost-effective solutions to the unique needs of their communities.


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.

Read the fact sheet

A comprehensive strategy

Microsoft outlined a comprehensive US rural broadband strategy to help connect at least 25 million Americans without access to broadband, of which over 19 million live in rural communities. We also have committed to directly connect 3 million 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.

Learn more about our comprehensive strategy

Download the 2018 strategy document


Contact us

Please contact us if you have questions about the Microsoft Airband Initiative.

Submit an inquiry