Microsoft proposing $10B program to bring broadband internet to rural America
“Federal and state governments in recent years have tried to use tax breaks and other incentives to bridge that gap, often in partnership with regional or small-scale providers.
One of them is Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities (MBC), which was founded in 2004 by an electricity cooperative and has relied on grants to build out 1,800 miles of fiber-optic cable, the modern telecommunications backbone.
“We started with the idea that we’re losing jobs and investment because we can’t get broadband in rural Virginia,” said Tad Deriso, the nonprofit’s president.
Deriso approached Microsoft a few years ago after hearing about the company’s experiments with white-space technology.
Some students in MBC’s area struggle to complete or turn in digital school assignments on weak home internet connections, a problem commonly called the homework gap. Deriso was looking for creative ways to address that.
Microsoft chipped in, contributing to a partially grant-funded project that, for $1 million, is expected to connect 1,000 households to high-speed internet powered by TV white-space technology. FCC Commissioner Pai is expected to see the progress toward that goal firsthand on Tuesday, Deriso said.”
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