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Microsoft wants to work with the government to help connect rural Americans to broadband internet.
The tech giant on Monday revealed its new “Rural Airband Initiative,” a three-pronged plan that aims to help bring broadband connectivity to two million people living in rural communities within the next five years.
The company’s philanthropic arm will also put money toward tech training for people living in rural communities; Microsoft has already inked a partnership with the National 4-H Council to do so.
Citing new research from The Boston Consulting Group, Microsoft said by using a combination of that TV spectrum, along with technologies like fixed wireless and satellite coverage, providing access to rural communities can be done cheaper and more efficiently than ever. The company estimates that 23.4 million Americans in rural communities lack broadband internet access.
But Microsoft also wants government to get involved. It is asking the FCC to make the TV white spaces spectrum bands available in every market and to improve its data collection processes around rural broadband coverage.
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