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San Francisco:

In a bid to connect billions of people that do not have access to Internet connectivity, tech giant Microsoft, through its Airband Initiative, now aims to extend Internet access to 40 million underserved people globally by July 2022.

Started in 2017, Microsoft’s Airband initiative streamlined efforts to set up Internet access across the US.

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This time the company is focusing on areas with significant underserved populations and it will start with Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa that have a regulatory interest in solving connectivity issues.

“Extending Internet access to 40 million people around the world in the span of three years is a big task — but it’s informed by our ongoing work in connectivity, experience with partners and engagement from development finance institutions,” Shelley McKinley-Head of Technology and Corporate Responsibility, Microsoft, wrote in a blog post on Monday.

Earlier, the firm did this on a project-by-project basis spanning Africa, Latin America and Asia.

“In the US, we formalised our connectivity work in 2017 by launching the Airband Initiative, with the goal of bringing broadband connectivity to 3 million people in rural America by July 2022, and today marks the formalisation of the international work within the Initiative,” McKinley added.

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