· Expansion of AirJaldi Networks into three states namely, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha, with an additional 20,000 sq.km, to enable internet availability for 500,000 underserved beneficiaries. Strengthening networks in existing areas of operations in nine states to support 120,000 beneficiaries
· To strengthen learning modules for women entrepreneurship and youth employment, integrate Microsoft modules on digital productivity, employability, and AI fluency for 15,000 youth and high school students
· To integrate 10 internet connectivity related technology solutions to transform livelihoods and build partnership with government and corporate organizations for sustenance in three states
New Delhi, June 6, 2023: Microsoft and AirJaldi, a leading innovator and implementer of technically and economically viable internet connectivity solutions for rural areas, signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Titled ‘Contentful Connectivity’, the program aims to advance access to high-speed internet and meaningful connectivity as a fundamental right in collaboration with private, public, non-profit sectors and build solutions for broadband adoption and digital transformation, benefitting underserved communities in rural regions of India.
Over the next three years, the program will:
· Expand AirJaldi Networks into three new states namely, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha, with an increase in the number of network locations from 40 to 62 in 12 states. An addition of 1,500 km of fiber network will help reach out to 20,000 km2 and thereby provide access to the internet to nearly 500,000 underserved beneficiaries.
· Strengthen AirJaldi Networks in nine states by extending the wireless and wired infrastructure and supporting extension of reach and connectivity provision for underserved users. AirJaldi Networks will deploy, implement, and test new connectivity technologies, approaches, and connectivity-related solutions to improve the quality and richness of services offered and sustainability of the networks.
· Enhance skilling, education and entrepreneurship training programs by strengthening the courses for women entrepreneurship and rural connectivity and integrating Microsoft modules on digital productivity, employability skills, and AI fluency skills for 15,000 underserved community members, in particular women, youth and high school children in 12 states. These network-led training programs would be based on a multi-faceted training approach combining face-to-face training, online sessions and online Learning Management System (LMS) courses delivered through Microsoft Community Training platform, as well as a 24/7 learning help desk to provide course support and career guidance.
· Build Internet of Things (IoT) based connectivity-related solutions in the rural regions on networking, e-learning, skilling, telemedicine, agriculture, accessibility, and environment to transform livelihoods and well-being of enterprises and communities.
· Build partnerships with government and corporate organizations for sustenance in three states where the networks are getting created in the areas of education, diverse skills for jobs, or women entrepreneurship.
Antony Cook, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft, said, “We believe access to the internet should be available to everyone and that digital skills create and enable economic prosperity for people, businesses and governments. Partnerships are foundational to the success of Airband and, by working with AirJaldi Networks, we will extend internet access to 500,000 beneficiaries in underserved communities in rural India. Beyond solving for internet access to help the country’s digital capabilities continue to grow, Microsoft expects that this expanded access to the internet will also help these beneficiaries to enhance their digital productivity, AI and employability skills.”
Michael Ginguld, Director Strategy and Operations, AirJaldi Networks, said, “I am delighted and excited to sign this MoU with Microsoft India. This partnership, which is a continuation of our fruitful work with Microsoft since 2016, is a significant step forward in achieving our joint goals of providing wide-ranging, meaningful and impactful connectivity across India. I believe that the combination of connectivity, digital tools and digital skills are essential building-blocks in ensuring the central role of internet connectivity in improving people’s lives. We at AirJaldi are thankful for being able to be part of this process.”
The Microsoft Airband initiative was launched to bring transformative connectivity to underserved communities around the world. Through the Airband initiative and its partners, Microsoft is serving as a catalyst to enable affordable access to connectivity, specifically focusing on regions with lower digital connectivity rates. Partnering with Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, organizations like AirJaldi Networks have additional support to create the infrastructure needed to provide connectivity support in many different ecosystems that ultimately drives self-empowerment and sustainable development and growth. These partnerships are essential in providing local expertise and experience to help achieve a greater goal tied to what can be harnessed with the support of connectivity. As technology, like AI, advances, being connected provides a path forward to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.