Microsoft Connecting America Pt 1

Microsoft Connecting America Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. As technology continues to advance at an incredible pace, nearly 20-million rural Americans are left without reliable, affordable broadband and the ability to connect with the Worldwide Web and the infinite opportunities it offers.

But, Microsoft is putting its significant tech-weight behind a national collective of advocates, innovators, local organizations, and concerned people hell-bent on narrowing that digital divide.

"Connect Americans Now" spokesman Zachary Cikanek says farmers are already at a disadvantage ...

CIKANEK ... "Farm income, it's down 47% nationally over the last five years alone according to the USDA and the ability to be competitive in this environment means trying to minimize wasted resources, and minimize costs, and improve yields. Without high-speed internet so much of that remains off-limits."

So, Cikanek says right now, they're talking with policy makers ...

CIKANEK ... "Because there's increasingly a recognition in state capitals around the country and Washington D.C. that rural broadband is no longer a luxury, it's a necessity. But, they are still examining the solutions that are available, trying to allocate precious resources that are very limited to the projects that make the most sense and they're also trying to work with regulators to tear down some of those barriers that are holding back new technology, like TV White Spaces."

White spaces are left overs from the old UHF bands we used to capture TV channels with using rabbit-ear antennas.

Microsoft wants utilizing a model that includes fiber-based, satellite and wireless technologies, leveraging a range of frequencies including those TV white spaces.

Listen tomorrow to hear more about white spaces and the Connect Americans Now vision.

Previous ReportRural Broadband Bill Pt 2
Next ReportMicrosoft Connecting America Pt 2