Microsoft announces rural broadband initiative2017-07-11 08:14 by Daniela
Tags: Microsoft, broadband
In an attempt to "eliminate" the gap in high-speed internet access in the country's hardest-to-reach areas, Microsoft is reportedly planning to use the unused channels between television broadcasts, or white spaces, to improve regional access to broadband for 2 million people across the United States.
Millions of people in rural America don't have the Internet connectivity that those in cities take for granted. Microsoft is pledging to get 2 million rural Americans online, in a five-year plan; and the company is going to push phone companies and regulators to help get the whole 23.4 million connected.
"We perhaps looked less than we should have at what was happening in rural America," says Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. "We went overseas, and that's a good thing. We should be around the world. But we also should be focused on our own backyards."
The company plans to start its efforts in 12 states, offering seed money to local telecom providers that are trying to improve internet access through means like "white spaces". The giant emphasized that it is not looking to become a telecom provider.
The initial 12 states will be New York, Texas, Washington, Virginia, Michigan, Maine, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
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