Microsoft has been working to help expand faster broadband internet access to rural locations around the world via its Airband program. This week, the company announced a major new expansion of Airband, which will bring internet access to 40 million more people.
In a blog post, Microsoft said the program, working with local ISPs, will offer broadband access to people in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Guatemala in Latin America. It will also expand to several countries in Africa, including Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Some of these new locations have some interesting challenges in terms of providing internet access. For example, in the African nation of Cote d’Ivoire, electricity in many areas is unreliable or even unavailable. Microsoft says they have helped to put up eight solar-powered towers so they can power wireless hotspots, and internet access to homes and businesses.
Microsoft's current goal with Airband is to offer internet access to 250 million people in rural and unserved areas of the world by 2025. This new expansion looks like it will be a huge boost toward reaching that goal.