Microsoft president outlines vision for rural broadband expansion

11 July, 2017, 22:24 | Author: Becky Perry
  • This map based on FCC data shows broadband connectivity by county in the U.S. Via Microsoft

The company said ME will host one of 12 pilot projects in which it will aim to close the gap in broadband internet service quality between rural and urban areas.

"Our goal is not to enter the telecommunications business ourselves or even to profit directly from these projects", he wrote.

Microsoft's president on Tuesday pointed to a partnership with the Machias-based Axiom Technologies as a key to proving that the tech giant can dramatically improve rural broadband service. That range, he notes, is around 80 percent less than it would cost to deploy fiber alone and 50 percent cheaper than using fixed wireless 4G technology. White space employs the unused slivers of spectrum that fall between what TV broadcaster use to deliver their channels over the air.

The broadcast spectrum that allowed people in isolated rural areas to watch television long before cable and satellite services could also provide underserved parts of the US with access to broadband Internet service, according to Microsoft. But where that signal doesn't reach, satellite backup can be used, he says.

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For additional research by Microsoft on their plans to connect families in rural areas with the Web link up with their main website for this project. Microsoft has plans to connect those people with Internet access over the next two years.

He also pointed to what he said was Microsoft seeking a free government handout to use the spectrum, rather than bidding for airwaves through the Federal Communications Commission's incentive auction.

The initial target states are: Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

White space technology has been bandied about as a possible way to provide internet access to the parts of rural America where it's too expensive for rural telecom providers to lay out infrastructure for DSL or cable lines.


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