Microsoft introduced as we speak that it is going to be launching a coalition referred to as Connect Americans Now (CAN) to advocate for the FCC to get rid of regulatory hurdles that the group says are standing in the best way of extra widespread rural broadband deployment.

In addition to Microsoft, the coalition’s members embrace The App Association, a software program commerce group, and the National Rural Education Association.

Specifically, CAN needs the FCC to “guarantee that there’s adequate unlicensed low band spectrum in each market within the nation to allow broadband connectivity.” Microsoft has endorsed the repurposing of TV white areas spectrum — unoccupied TV channels — to deploy broadband in a less expensive approach. According to CAN, 23.4 million out of the 34 million Americans who don’t have a broadband connection stay in rural areas.


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The announcement was made at the side of the discharge of a report coauthored by Microsoft president Brad Smith and director of communications Carol Ann Browne on the highest 10 tech points for 2018. The report named know-how for rural communities as one of many high points.

“Historically American innovations typically took root in smaller cities sooner than in large cities,” Smith and Browne wrote. “But whereas many early know-how improvements flourished shortly in rural America, as we speak there are 23.4 million Americans in rural counties who lack broadband entry at a time when broadband has turn out to be a necessity of life.” Smith and Browne additionally urge President Donald Trump to put aside cash for rural broadband growth in any proposed nationwide infrastructure bundle.

Microsoft launched two different initiatives in 2017 that may present help for technological growth in rural areas. The firm’s Rural Airband Initiative, introduced in July, goals to convey broadband connectivity to 2 million folks in rural America by 2022 by investing in partnerships with telecommunications firms. Additionally, the corporate pledged that the Rural Airband Initiative would dedicate investments towards bringing digital expertise coaching to rural America, and permit royalty-free licensing of not less than 39 completely different patents and supply code associated to TV white areas spectrum know-how.

In October, Microsoft additionally introduced the launch of a program referred to as TechSpark that may present numerous tech sources to communities in six states: North Dakota, Wisconsin, Virginia, Texas, Wyoming, and Washington.

Microsoft informed Axios that the corporate will “present staffing and a few monetary sources as wanted” to CAN. VentureBeat reached out to Microsoft for extra touch upon CAN’s plans within the coming months, and we’ll replace this story if we hear again.

This article sources info from VentureBeat