Science

Microsoft to invest $10bn for fast internet in United States heartlands

Microsoft to invest $10bn for fast internet in United States heartlands

By means revenue sharing agreements, Microsoft rather plans to invest all the money it raises in new projects in other states where internet access is inadequate. Of these 34 million people, 23.4 million live in rural parts of the country.

The Seattle Times was among the first to report that Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith is expected to introduce the plan during a speech today in Washington.

Microsoft wants to extend broadband services to rural America by using the buffer zones separating individual television channels in the airwaves. "But the time has come to extend this coverage to the rural areas that lack it entirely".

By 2022, it hopes that two million people will have access to sturdier broadband through the technology - though that number is only a small percentage of those struggling to get online. According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft estimates that it would be possible to connect rural America using white space for $15 billion, compared to up to $65 billion if fiber were used.

"White spaces has tremendous opportunity to help with broadband coverage in rural areas, but it's hard to justify the cost to device makers who don't see economies of scale in rural areas", said Doug Brake, a senior analyst at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a research organization that is sponsored by tech companies including Microsoft.




When it comes to the broadband connection speeds available to most residents, the US lags behind many other countries.

The plan is a $10 billion investment by Microsoft, and the company intends to invest any profits into future plans to give communities in need access to broadband.

Verizon and AT&T are exploring delivering internet access via their own 5G cellular networks, but are still in the early stages of testing the technology out. And earlier this year during a Senate committee hearing, it said that unlicensed spectrum is vital in low-, mid- and high bands to meet ever-increasing demand for technologies that use licensed spectrum.

To make use of the white space, a base station that transmits signals of the right frequency is required, along with matching antennas on homes, which are hooked up to modems instead of TVs.

Microsoft is already piloting its idea in a sparsely populated region of southern Virginia, where it's providing $250,000 to the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corp.


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