Microsoft has launched the Microsoft's Rural Airband initiative that aims to increase the broadband internet connection in rural and remote part of the U.S. It is expected that around 2 million people of the rural U.S. will have new broadband internet connectivity.
Microsoft has realized that there is a huge potential to develop broadband Internet in rural America because of the unused spectrum which is reserved for the television channels and local telecom services. According to reports from CNN, Federal Communications Commission has defined broadband internet access as the internet that has a minimum downloading speed of 25 Mbps. According to the definition, 34 million people who live in the U.S., do not have access to broadband internet and it is estimated that a population of 23.4 million resides in the rural U.S.
The objective of Microsoft's Rural Airband initiative is to provide broadband internet to approximately 2 million people by 2022. The implementation of the plans will start from 2018 where 12 states will be provided with broadband internet connection. Unused television spectrum is not found everywhere in the rural part and therefore it cannot solely rely on that for increasing the internet connectivity.
It will need the help of other technologies like satellite reporting to provide broadband internet in an area that has no unused spectrum. The use of different kind of technologies to increase the users of the broadband Internet will reduce the costs of the project. The report further states that the total price for eliminating the broadband gap in a rural area is somewhere between $8 billion and $12 billion. The price would have been 80 percent more if simply fiber cables were used to complete the plan.
The investment of Microsoft will allow increasing the market as the company will able to connect with more people by using the cloud services and many such other products. It should also be noted that other tech giants like Facebook and Google are also trying to increase the internet access in emerging markets and remote areas.