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Microsoft and Viasat are using satellites to bring 10 million people online


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Illustration of a cluster of satellites in space. Microsoft’s Airband program has traditionally focused on fixed wireless, TV white spaces, fiber optics, and Citizens Broadband Radio Service. | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

As a variety of organizations and companies are working to expand (and sometimes restore) electricity to the hundreds of millions of people who don’t have it, tech companies are working to make sure that people will have internet as soon as they get devices that can access it. Microsoft and Viasat are partnering to expand internet access to 10 million people living in places like Africa and North and Central America. The move is part of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, which has used old TV spectrum and other tech to connect millions of people — though this will be the first time that a satellite internet company is getting involved.

The Viasat partnership will cover 5 million people in Egypt, Senegal, Angola, Nigeria, and the Democratic...

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