2017-7-14: Microsoft announces plans to expand rural broadband

2017-7-14: Microsoft announces plans to expand rural broadband

Microsoft announces plans to expand rural broadband

Friday, July 14th 2017

Microsoft has announced a five year plan to expand rural broadband access in the U.S. Microsoft President Brad Smith says using the TV White Spaces spectrum, 80 percent of underserved rural communities could gain internet access and it would cost significantly less than fiber cables or fixed wireless technology. Microsoft plans to partner on at least 12 projects in the next year, including in Michigan, Wisconsin and the Dakotas, to invest in the upfront costs of coverage and with the National 4-H Council to help train people in rural communities to use the technology. Smith says Microsoft has supported 20 similar projects in 17 other countries. The Federal Communications Commission says nearly 70 percent of the 34 million Americans lacking broadband internet access live in rural communities.