Bluetown Announces Partnership with Microsoft to Close the Digital Divide
11 January 2019
COPENHAGEN, Denmark--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Denmark based Bluetown has announced a new agreement with Microsoft Corp. that will provide broadband internet access to approximately 800,000 unserved people in the eastern part of Ghana. The project will use Wi-Fi and TV White space technologies to bring public Wi-Fi zones with affordable Internet access and free access to digital services (e-learning, e-health, news and more) as well as dedicated Internet access to local institutions and businesses.
“We look forward to be working with Microsoft and together take on our first large project in Ghana,” said Nick Pallesen, Bluetown’s Chief Commercial Officer. “Our organizations’ goals align well, and we are confident that this collaboration is just the beginning of a long-standing partnership to improve conditions in Ghana and expand global Internet access in underserved regions around the world.”
Nearly four billion people live unconnected to the digital world, most in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, and this can have costly economic implications. Microsoft, through the Airband Initiative, is working with partners like Bluetown to address this connectivity gap. The initiative utilizes low-cost wireless technologies to make it easier and more affordable for people to get online and participate in today's global economy.
“Today, internet access is as essential as electricity, but almost half the world’s population is still not online. As a global technology company, we believe we have a responsibility and a great opportunity to help close this gap,” said Shelley McKinley, Microsoft’s Head of Technology and Corporate Responsibility. “We are excited to work with Bluetown in Ghana and beyond to help close the digital divide.”
In addition to the work in Ghana, Microsoft will provide Bluetown with technology and expertise that can ensure the development of the best and most cost-effective solutions. This is crucial for ensuring sustainability in efforts to provide broadband Internet access in all parts of the world.
“At Bluetown, we are committed to connecting the unconnected. To be able to sustainably provide Internet access to rural communities around the world, we’ll have to continuously develop new and innovative technological solutions,” explained Bluetown’s CEO Peter Ib. “This partnership with Microsoft will help us make leaps and bounds in our commitment to do just that through technologies such as the Internet of Things and machine learning.”
Source: company Press release