In an exciting collaboration, Microsoft has partnered with AirJaldi Networks, a leading provider of internet connectivity solutions for rural areas, to launch a three-year program called “Contentful Connectivity.” The primary goal of this initiative is to expand access to high-speed internet and meaningful connectivity in rural regions of India by partnering with private, public, and non-profit sectors. With a focus on fostering broadband adoption, driving digital transformation, and uplifting underserved communities, the joint effort aims to make a significant impact over the next three years.
Expanding AirJaldi Networks
The program’s first priority is to extend the reach of AirJaldi Networks to three new states – Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha. By increasing the number of network locations from 40 to 62 across 12 states, the program aims to provide internet access to an additional 500,000 underserved beneficiaries living in remote areas spanning 20,000 square kilometers. This expansion will involve covering an additional 1,500 kilometers of fiber network.
AirJaldi Networks will invest in enhancing both wireless and wired infrastructure in nine states. The goal is to improve connectivity and extend the network’s reach to underserved users. The program will also focus on deploying and testing new connectivity technologies to enhance service quality and ensure the sustainability of the network.
Skilling and Education Programs
The “Contentful Connectivity” initiative places great importance on enhancing skilling, education, and entrepreneurship training programs. The program will offer specialized courses focusing on women entrepreneurship, rural connectivity, digital productivity, employability skills, and AI fluency. Approximately 15,000 underserved community members, including women, youth, and high school children, will benefit from these training programs. The training will be delivered through a combination of face-to-face sessions, online learning modules via the Microsoft Community Training platform, and a 24/7 learning help desk for course support and career guidance.
The program aims to develop Internet of Things (IoT) based connectivity solutions tailored for rural regions. These solutions will focus on various sectors such as networking, e-learning, skilling, telemedicine, agriculture, accessibility, and environment. Leveraging IoT technologies, the initiative aims to transform livelihoods and improve the well-being of enterprises and communities.
Partnerships for Sustainability
To ensure the long-term success and impact of the network, Microsoft and AirJaldi Networks will collaborate with government and corporate organizations in three states. These partnerships will focus on areas such as education, diverse job skills, and women entrepreneurship, contributing to sustainability efforts and ensuring the longevity of the initiative.
Antony Cook, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft, emphasizes the critical role of internet access and digital skills in driving economic prosperity for individuals, businesses, and governments. The partnership with AirJaldi Networks will extend internet access to 500,000 beneficiaries in rural India, empowering them to enhance their digital productivity, AI fluency, and employability skills.
Michael Ginguld, Director of Strategy and Operations at AirJaldi Networks, expresses enthusiasm about the partnership and highlights the significant impact that connectivity, digital tools, and digital skills can have on improving people’s lives. He expresses gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of this transformative process and work towards providing comprehensive and impactful connectivity across India.
The collaboration between Microsoft and AirJaldi Networks is part of the Microsoft Airband initiative, which aims to bring transformative connectivity to underserved communities worldwide. With AirJaldi Networks operating as Rural Broadband Private Limited, a Class A Internet Service Provider in India since 2009, the partnership is poised to make a meaningful difference in rural areas of the country.
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