Microsoft to unveil plan to bring Internet to rural areas

Microsoft to unveil plan to bring Internet to rural areas”

The software giant will call for government and corporate entities to invest in its $10 billion plan to eliminate the rural broadband gap. Microsoft is using it's using previous experience deploying white spaces projects in 17 different countries to executive its ambitious plans.

The company plans to enter into collaborations with local telecom companies on 12 projects in 12 states over the next year in order to use the technology to provide Americans with Internet connections. The project will begin in 12 states with 12 projects where Microsoft partners and local internet service providers and telecommunications companies have offered seed money for the program. Microsoft said that 23 million Americans lack high-speed Internet access.

Microsoft Corp. will attempt a project to bring broadband to 2 million people in hard-to-reach rural areas, it said. White space is unlicensed spectrum, so companies don't have to bear the expense of buying the radio frequencies and can more cheaply use the technology than traditional cellular airwaves like the ones Verizon and AT&T employ. Smith is now calling on the USA government to help with the effort. Finally, it has to overcome a signficant cost hurdle - hardware for use with white space-based broadband is expensive, though Microsoft told the Times that it will be able to get pricing down for hardware it'll demonstrate at an event today to below $200. Microsoft also wants to see increased funding with infrastructure investments targeted towards broadband coverage in rural areas and improved data collection for rural broadband coverage. "To the contrary, we can and should bring the benefits of broadband coverage to every corner of the nation".

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