Microsoft launches fund to improve access to affordable Internet in underserved markets

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Microsoft Corporation has launched a new fund to cultivate companies with solutions that bring affordable Internet access to underserved markets.

BY STAFF REPORTER

In a statement yesterday, the company said the fund was part of Microsoft’s Affordable Access Initiative, which invests in new last-mile access technologies, cloud-based services and applications, and business models that can reduce the cost of Internet access and help more people affordably get online.

“Today, there are approximately four billion people globally without Internet access,” Peggy Johnson, executive vice-president of business development at Microsoft, said.

“The ability to close that gap is more achievable than ever with technology that is readily available and affordable in many parts of the world. Through this fund, we hope to kick-start the entrepreneurial process by identifying promising ideas that we can help nurture, grow and scale.”

Microsoft  Windows 8

Under its Affordable Access Initiative, Microsoft said it was partnering with Internet access providers and other public and private sector entities on innovative and practical connectivity and services solutions designed to deliver the greatest
socio-economic impact to the greatest number of people.

Microsoft said it was currently deploying TV whitespaces technology, which repurposes TV frequencies not being used locally to provide affordable, robust Internet access to entire communities.

Through its Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, the company is driving the multi-year initiative through which Microsoft is actively engaging in Africa’s economic development to improve its global competitiveness through locally relevant innovation, affordable access and skills development.

In addition to receiving on average $75 000 in funding and free software and services, recipients will have the opportunity to participate in a programme offered by Microsoft to connect with other grant recipients and potential funders.

2 COMMENTS

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