Microsoft Awards Affordable Internet Grants
Microsoft's Affordable Access Initiative has awarded grants to 12 companies working to bridge the digital divide, the software giant announced this week.
As its name suggests, the Affordable Access Initiative is a funding and technology partnership program that was formed to help bring low-cost Internet access to underserved communities. Launched by Microsoft last November, the initiative builds on the company's TV white spaces work to help solve the "last-mile" connectivity challenges that effectively cut off a huge chunk of the world's population from the Internet.
According to Microsoft, an estimated 4.2 billion people, or 57 percent of the world's population, lack Internet access. To put a dent in those figures, Microsoft provided grants to a dozen companies from 11 countries.
"With these grants, we're partnering with local entrepreneurs across five continents, each of whom deeply understand the unique needs of their own communities, and are already delivering hardware, applications, connectivity and power solutions to solve them," said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of Business Development at Microsoft, in a May 23 announcement. "Our partners will receive seed funding, as well as a range of resources, including mentorship and BizSpark tools like free software, services and tech support so they can scale up the great work they are already doing in their communities."
Microsoft issues grants to 12 companies that are working to bring affordable Internet access to more than half of the world's population.
Earlier this year, Microsoft pledged $1 billion in cloud services over three years to serve the public good.
- AirJaldi (India)
- African Renewable Energy Distributor (Rwanda)
- Axiom (United States)
- C3 (Malawi)
- Ekovolt (Nigeria)
- Kelase (Indonesia)
- Movivo (United Kingdom)
- New Sun Road (Uganda)
- Tambero.com (Argentina)
- VistaBotswana (Botswana)
- WiFi Interactive Network (Philippines)
- Zaya Learning Labs (India)