Microsoft, Nokia, C Spire, & More Team Up to Promote Rural Broadband


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Today C Spire, Airspan Networks, Microsoft, Nokia, and Siklu, announced a collaboration that will test and deploy a variety of broadband technologies in combination with a new service to promote broadband connectivity in rural America. This will combine efforts for both wired and wireless internet services that will help bring broadband internet to rural America.

“Our nation’s broadband adoption gap is a solvable problem that will not be limited in the next few years by the coming breath of new technologies themselves, but rather how well we facilitate them to scale at the edge,” said C Spire Chief Innovation Officer Craig Sparks. “Hyperlocal collaboration and highly automated tools combined with these easy-to-deploy network technologies are going to be key enablers,” he added. “C Spire’s intent is to bring the thought leaders in this consortium together to disrupt our own thinking in these areas.”

Currently being tested in Mississippi and Alabama these companies will take what they learned through a series of studies and open workshops over an 18-month engagement. From there they will move to implement what they learned to help improve rural broadband.

“It’s time to close the broadband gap for rural America,” added Shelley McKinley, Microsoft’s head of Technology and Corporate Responsibility. “Piloting new technology approaches, including TV white spaces, will help rural communities in Mississippi. Sharing these learnings will help accelerate broadband connectivity in rural communities everywhere. And with connectivity, comes new and greater opportunities for students, farmers, educators, business owners and communities in rural areas to access the technology and digital skills needed to learn, grow, contribute and prosper in a digital economy.”

“The advent of new access technology will change everything – economies, the way we do business and the way we interact,” said Chris Stark, head of North American Strategy and Business Development for Nokia. “It is important to consider how smaller communities can benefit from this revolution and that they cannot be left behind as an afterthought. The digital divide is real and likely to grow to a chasm for those communities unable to gain access to these advances.”

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