Redmond, Wash.--Global Crossing Ltd., Microsoft Corp. and Softbank Corp. have signed a pact to increase broadband connectivity throughout Asia. The venture will initially link and service businesses in China, Singapore, South Korea, and the Philippines. Later, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Australia and New Zealand will be serviced. "Asia provides one of the richest markets for us and yet is currently underserved in gaining access to the global telecommunications system," Microsoft President Steve Ballmer said in a statement. Global Crossing, Hamilton, Bermuda, will own 93% of the broadband venture. Redmond-based Microsoft and Softbank, Tokyo, will each own 3.5%.