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Viasat is the first satellite partner to work with Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, which seeks to expand Internet access worldwide.

CEO and President of Viasat Mark Dankberg said: “Connecting the world is a vast and challenging goal, and we believe it is just as important that it is done in a sustainable, responsible and inclusive way.”

Viasat’s planned $7.3 billion purchase of UK-based Inmarsat is under review by the UK regulator.

The partnership with Microsoft is another important step in providing affordable internet services in Africa, Latin America and the US as the two companies continue to break down barriers to bridge the digital divide and make significant progress towards digital ownership and inclusion.”

The move coincides with Microsoft’s efforts at the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington this week, when the tech company announced it is expanding its Airband Initiative through new partnerships with local and global providers to bring Internet access to up to 100 million Africans by the end of the year. for: in 2025

The Viasat deal is part of Airband’s broader global ambitions to bring Internet access to a quarter of a billion people around the world by the end of 2025, Microsoft said.

The Microsoft-Viasat relationship is focused on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Guatemala, Mexico and the United States, and will also include Senegal and Angola.

Microsoft said: About 37% of the world’s population, or 2.9 billion people, have never used the Internet. Satellite allows Internet access to reach remote areas that previously had few, if any, options for conventional connectivity.”

The companies said they would collaborate to provide and test technologies including satellites and wireless communications.

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