Arlington, VA -- On January 18, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) awarded a grant to Indian internet service provider AirJaldi Networks for a feasibility study to help expand broadband connectivity to more than 30 million people in rural and peri-urban communities across India. AirJaldi selected Georgia-based Vernonburg Group LLC to conduct the study.
“Projects such as this can transform communities and stimulate more inclusive economic growth. AirJaldi’s vision to provide reliable and affordable internet access to the underserved is one that USTDA is proud to share,” said Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Director. “This project also reflects USTDA’s commitment to bridge India’s digital divide through partnerships with U.S. industry.”
The study will evaluate the technical and economic viability of expanding AirJaldi’s broadband network into new rural and peri-urban areas, as well as modelling sustainable business cases and scenarios for delivering affordable connectivity and value-added digital services for customers in these markets. The study will identify and prioritize infrastructure investments for AirJaldi to expand broadband connectivity across 16 Indian states, design network architecture, evaluate technology options, provide a financing plan, and assess other critical areas that will be necessary for the project’s implementation.
“The provision of fast and reliable connectivity to underserved, yet well-deserving communities in rural and semi-rural areas in India remains a challenge, despite great progress made in the past few years by multiple providers and partners across India, us included,” said AirJaldi Director, Michael Ginguld. “Maintaining the drive to realize universal access to fast, stable and economically and socially beneficial connectivity throughout the country requires considerable financial and human resources. We are therefore excited and happy to receive this award and to be joined by USTDA, the Vernonburg Group, and other study partners in our ongoing journey to realization of this vision.”
The project advances priorities of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, with the goal of developing, expanding, and deploying secure digital infrastructure to power economic growth and facilitate open digital societies.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority infrastructure projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project preparation and partnership building activities that develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in partner countries.