A Push for Internet Affordability by Microsoft Corporation - Kelechi Alexander Ekeh  - Published January 24th, 2017

Microsoft Corporation, a technology giant in computer software, consumer electronics and personal computers and services, has renewed their initiative grant fund to make internet access affordability a reality for a second time now in a row. The essence of the fund is to encourage companies to make internet accessible and bring new technologies to underprivileged markets. Microsoft Corporation has reiterated their stand to impact on the ecosystem of new businesses, so as to improve their growth rate.

The Microsoft initiative has a lot to do with Microsoft Philanthropies, who are helping to bridge the digital gaps among those that have been lacking in todayís technology needs. The Microsoft Philanthropies are doing all they can to ensure that communities have access to basic computer education, as this will increase the digital literacy amongst them.

According to Paul Garnett, the director of the Microsoft Affordable Access Initiatives, in writing to NextBillion, said that, "Itís a privilege to see these solutions take shape, and to play a role in helping local entrepreneurs spur job creation and economic growth."

As recorded Initially, Microsoft had awarded grants to 12 businesses offering them quality and affordable internet access in their respective fields such as health, education, power generation, finance and agriculture. All of these are in their fundís first round of investments. A 2016 grant recipient, Airjaldi, provide a high-quality Wi-Fi broadband connectivity at an affordable rate to more than 90,000 public- and private-sector clients in rural India.

Another recipient, Vista Africa, from last year Microsoft grant funding, is a cloud-based software platform which helps healthcare providers to more easily screen, track and treat their patientsí health related matters in areas where broadband internet connectivity is at a high time very low.

According to Mary Snapp, the corporate vice president and head of Microsoft Philanthropies, "Too many people around the world lack internet connectivity and the educational, commercial and economic benefits of cloud-based services."

She is also said that, "Affordable Access Initiative grants, and the technology ecosystem they help support, empower entrepreneurs to provide connectivity, which then enables the creation of critical services to those who need it most."

Microsoft has made application to the initiative fund granting program easier as at now. Applicants must be commercial organizations having two or more full-time employees and must have a prototype of an effective and working solution, and preferably paying customers.

As for Microsoft, such business models and products might even come with new cloud based services and solutions, cheap internet connectivity, and perhaps a new payment structure designed for both small and medium businesses for the undeserved and underprivileged markets.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the site owner.
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