Microsoft recently announced it is increasing its commitment to closing the rural broadband gap with a significant infrastructure boost from the company. More than 19 million people in rural America don’t have access to broadband.
“Without proper broadband connection, these communities can’t start or run a modern business, access telemedicine, take an online class, digitally transform their farm, or research a school project online,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft president in a recent press release.
The company launched the Microsoft Airband Initiative in 2017 with plans to make broadband available to two million rural Americans. Microsoft says it’s expanding that goal to reach three million rural Americans by July 4, 2022. The new goal includes 25 states with new additions in California, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
“As a nation we can’t afford to turn our backs on these communities as we head into the future,” Smith said. “Given our early progress, today we are raising our goal and increasing out commitment.”