The Partnership is based on the Microsoft Airband Initiative, which has a target of increasing broadband connection to more than 3 million unserved rural people in America by July 2022.
Microsoft, a US-based multinational technology company has entered into the partnership with another US-based internet service provider Nextlink Internet. This partnership is established to improve internet connectivity, which would help nearly one million people in rural areas across the United States. The partnership will also help Nextlink in significantly expanding its coverage areas. Microsoft and Nextlink Internet Partnership is based on the Microsoft Airband Initiative, which has a target of increasing broadband connection to more than 3 million unserved rural people in America by July 2022. The partnership will help better connectivity to people in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Illinois.
Microsoft’s Vice President of Technology and Corporate Responsibility, Shelly McKinley said, “it is the time to give back the connectivity promises, which have been made to our customers. This collaboration will help many people who have poor access to internet connectivity. From the past two years, we have seen improvement when the public and private sectors collaborate. Partnership with Nextlink has the aspiration and ability to provide internet connectivity. It is an important part of reducing the broadband gap and supporting families, farmers, children, and businesses to not only survive but also sustain in the 21st century.”
Partnership to accelerate the national rate of broadband usage
Lack of broadband connectivity is the national issue and specifically serious in rural areas of the country. According to Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) report, about 21 million-plus Americans don’t have broadband access and the majority of them live in rural areas, which continue to lag the national rate of broadband usage. Microsoft discovered that 162 million people all over the United States are not using the internet at broadband speeds, including nearly 29 million people across Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma
Nextlink’s CEO, Bill Baker said, “Nextlink is excited about the opportunity to join Microsoft’s team. This partnership will further increase the access of broadband connectivity in rural areas, which are desperate for this critical service. This will be beneficial for an employer who needs high-speed broadband. Our collaboration will generate several long-term as well as full-time jobs in rural areas as Nextlink develops and service the necessary networks. The overall effect on rural communities in terms of job creation and increased growth for all employers is huge.”