Microsoft Aims to Provide Internet Access to Two Million Rural Customers in the Next Five Years

Jul 12, 2017

Credit LARS P / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Kansas and Texas are among 12 states that Microsoft aims to bring broadband Internet to within the next five years.

As The Washington Post reports, earlier this week, Microsoft announced that its ambitious plan - the Rural Airband Initiative - will begin in 12 states, including Kansas and Texas, where the company said it will invest in broadband connectivity alongside local telecom services through what is now unused TV spectrum, or white space.

The concept of using TV spectrum is nothing new to Microsoft, which has 

Microsoft said it doesn’t intend to enter the telecom business itself or directly profit from the initiative. Instead, every dollar Microsoft earns from revenue-sharing with telecom operators at least for the first five years will be reinvested to fund additional broadband coverage.

The company said that it decided to use the unused TV spectrum because it is much cheaper than  fiber-optic cables or fixed wireless technology, like 4G.