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Microsoft wants to bring broadband to millions of rural AmericansThe company announces its intention to turn unused TV signals into high-speed internet in a dozen states.
Microsoft wants to bring broadband Internet access to the rural United States. In the United States, over 23 million Americans in rural communities do not have access to broadband Internet. Microsoft outlined its plan to connect 2 million of those rural Americans over the next five years. The company wants to use television whitespace to bridge the gap. TV whitespace is the unused spectrum in television bands. TV wide space is also capable of reaching great distances while being able to pass through obstacles like buildings, trees, and hills. Microsoft is not seeking to become a telecom, instead it would partner with local internet service providers. The company says it will have at least 12 projects active in 12 states in the next 12 months. Microsoft claims its methods are about 80% less expensive than using fiber cables for broadband access. The company has already deployed 20 TV wide space projects with 185,000 users. Not everybody is on board with Microsoft's plan though. The National Association of Broadcasters has filed comments with the FCC opposing Microsoft's plan to set aside one nationwide channel for white space use. For more details, check out cnet.com. I'm Iyaz Akhtar, and I'll see you online.