Bringing the other half of the world online

Photo of an African Renewable Energy Distributor employee explaining how a mobile solar kiosk hub works

In 2015, United Nations member states adopted a new sustainable development agenda to “end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.” Part of that agenda specifically calls for universal and affordable access to the internet by 2020. Yet nearly 4 billion people still lack internet access, and time is running out to meet the U.N.’s target date. They are at risk of falling further behind as the other half of the Read more »

An opportunity for small businesses expanding affordable internet access: Grant applications open now

Phot of man outdoors installing micro-grid technology on one of Uganda’s Ssese Islands.

This post originally appeared on NextBillion.net. New Sun Road is literally lighting up Uganda’s economy. The small business, supported with a grant from Microsoft’s Affordable Access Initiative, provides a critical service, creates jobs and is the kind of enterprise we aim to support with a second round of grants for innovators around the world. Initially conceived at UC Berkeley, New Sun Road designed, built and operated the first 24/7 metered Read more »

How closing the digital divide is saving lives in Botswana

In an increasingly globalized world, an internet connection has become an indispensable means of accessing knowledge and opportunity. Unfortunately, reliable and affordable internet access has yet to reach about half the planet’s population, meaning 4.2 billion people cannot read this blog post or any other online content. Poor internet connectivity also limits access to modern opportunities in education, commerce and healthcare. And in parts of the world where opportunities are Read more »

Delivering low-cost, solar-powered Internet access to rural Kenya

TV white spaces, Internet access

Recently, I returned to Nanyuki, Kenya to check on the progress of a unique project Microsoft launched with Mawingu Networks, Jamii Telecom Limited and the Kenyan Ministry of ICT to deliver low-cost, solar-powered Internet access and device charging to rural Kenya. The project, launched two years ago, utilizes ‘white spaces’ – TV frequencies assigned to broadcasters but not used locally – that could be used to provide wireless, broadband access Read more »