Forum - Microsoft Aims To Bring Internet To Rural Tribal Lands In Washington, Montana
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Post 151564       November 08 '18 at 11:50 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's more-the-merrier department:
Microsoft has announced an agreement with Native Network to provide broadband internet access to nearly 73,500 people without service in rural communities in Montana and Washington. Great Falls Tribune reports: This is part of the Microsoft Airband Initiative, which aims to extend broadband access to 2 million people in unserved portions of rural America by July 4, 2022, officials said. Unused parts of the broadcast spectrum are used to help rural communities access the internet. Through the partnership, Native Network will provide affordable hybrid fixed wireless broadband internet access, including TV White Spaces, to tribes within Flathead Reservation in Montana as well as Lummi Nation and Swinomish Tribe in Washington. It will come to rural Americans through commercial partnerships and investment in digital skills training for people. Proceeds from Airband connectivity projects will be reinvested into the program to expand broadband to more rural areas, officials said. "Broadband is the electricity of the 21st century and is critical for farmers, small business owners, health care practitioners, educators and students to thrive in today's digital economy," Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a news release. "We are excited about the partnership with Native Network which will help close the digital divide in rural Montana and Washington, bringing access to approximately 73,500 people within and around the tribal communities."