Yesterday, Microsoft and Agile Networks announced they have reached an agreement to help 110,000 people in rural Ohio get access to the internet. This is the latest leg of Microsoft's Airband initiative, which is aiming to bring broadband access to 2 million unserved people in rural America by 2022.
Under the agreement, Agile Networks will use its telecommunications infrastructure throughout the state, and TV White Space technology. There are also plans for Agile to enhance public safety across the state of Ohio while still providing competitive, affordable broadband access options to rural consumers and businesses.
In the words of Shelley McKinley, Microsoft’s head of Technology and Corporate Responsibility:
"In today’s digital economy, broadband access has become a necessity across industries including healthcare, agriculture, business and education. Our partnership with Agile will help deliver broadband internet access to rural communities across Ohio so that they can take advantage of today’s and tomorrow’s opportunities and the latest cloud technologies."
The agreement should also benefit medical clinics and rural hospitals, schools, oil and gas wells, agriculture operations, and households. Microsoft previously announced the winners of Airband Grants across New York, West Virginia, California, Maine, and Texas, with those groups also aiming to help bring broadband internet access to rural communities.