Through this agreement, the companies seek to bring connectivity and digital tools to remote and rural areas of the region.
November 28, 2023 - In the midst of a landscape in which 244 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean lack access to the Internet and 72 million lack connectivity with minimum quality standards, Hughes and Microsoft signed an agreement today to develop a project that contributes to reducing the digital divide in various countries of the region.
Through this alliance, these technology companies join forces to promote universal connectivity, a cornerstone of economic progress and development on a global scale, as established by the UN in its "State of Broadband" report (2022). The agreement aims to enhance access to the Internet, create equal opportunities for all and promote the digital transformation of neglected or underserved regions in countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, and Chile.
These areas, which, due to the wide digital divide—among other reasons—have historically experienced high rates of unemployment, school dropouts, and labor and economic inequalities, require not only improvements in connectivity but also training programs that enable them to seize the opportunities of digitalization, elements that converge in this strategic alliance. On one hand, Hughes will be the one to provide connectivity through satellite Internet in those remote locations, while Microsoft will enable digital literacy programs that generate effective access to education, work, and entrepreneurship opportunities.
"At Hughes, we continue to promote joint initiatives that bring us closer to realizing the connected future. Agreements like this, with a world-class strategic partner like Microsoft, puts us in a privileged position to continue working toward our purpose of closing the digital divide in the most remote areas," said Daniel Losada, vice president of International Sales at Hughes.
Germán Otálora, leader of the Microsoft Airband program for Latin America, stated: "At Microsoft, we believe that Internet access and connectivity are a fundamental right for all citizens. But we know that connectivity alone is not enough. To leave no one behind, we must ensure that we also create the skills that provide access to the opportunities offered by an increasingly digital world. We are proud to announce the start of this project with Hughes, which will allow rural communities access to more opportunities for work, health, education, and community organization and improve their quality of life."
The truth is that addressing this situation requires collaboration between both private companies and government entities. With this agreement, Hughes and Microsoft once again demonstrate their commitment to social and economic development in Latin America, especially in remote areas far from large cities, where access to quality Internet and the development of digital capabilities are still lacking.
1 According to research conducted by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and Microsoft, across 26 countries in the region.