Caitlin Fairchild | Nextgov | July 12, 2017 | 0 Comments

Microsoft to Expand Broadband in Rural Areas

Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith speaks in Washington, Tuesday, July 11, 2017, about Microsoft's project to bring broadband internet access to rural parts of the U.S. Carolyn Kaster/AP

Currently, more than 23 million Americans in rural communities lack access to broadband internet, but Microsoft would like to change that.

Microsoft has developed and put in motion a plan that would connect 2 million of those Americans over the next five years.

How? By using TV white space, unused spectrum in TV bands, which can travel far and pass through obstacles, both natural and manmade. The tech giant is partnering with local internet service providers to achieve this, and has already connected 185,000 people.

Microsoft says this method is less expensive than fiber cables, a broadband method popularized by another large tech company, Google.

The National Association of Broadcasters isn't a fan, however, and has gone to the Federal Communications Commission to oppose the plan.

To learn more, check out the video below from CNET: