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Microsoft awards first grants to help expand global Internet access

Recipients of its Affordable Access Initiative will get US$70,000 to US$150,000 apiece

The technology giant plans to offer more grants and is likely to provide additional financial support to the projects that show the greatest promise.

San Francisco

MICROSOFT has largely stood by as other technology giants such as Facebook and Google have begun work on grand plans for balloons, satellites, drones, simplified apps and even bicycle hot spots to deliver Internet access to the four billion or so people around the world who