Vermont, Microsoft team on rural broadband

Jan. 26, 2019
The state of Vermont has announced a digital alliance with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to help improve access to digital skills programming and ...

The state of Vermont has announced a digital alliance with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to help improve access to digital skills programming and promote rural broadband access. Microsoft will collaborate with the state on several initiatives to support connectivity for rural residents, as well as digital skills and youth involvement in computer science education.

"We appreciate Microsoft's commitment to helping us overcome the broadband gap in rural Vermont, contributing to a better quality of life and greater economic opportunity," said Vermont Governor Phil Scott. "This new partnership also supports our priority of growing Vermont's economy by equipping students and adults with the digital skills needed to create new innovations, pursue high-wage, high-growth careers or start their own businesses."

Broadband access will be expanded via Microsoft's Airband Initiative. Microsoft is beginning work with RTO Wireless in Maine, New York and Vermont. The Airband Initiative partners with Internet service providers that are using a mix of technologies to close the rural broadband gap, including TV white spaces. Microsoft is also working with hardware manufacturers to reduce the price of TV white spaces devices. In December, the software giant raised its goal for the Airband Initiative to reach 3 million Americans in rural communities by July 4, 2022.

Microsoft has 15 active digital alliances with state and local governments across the country. The agreements are intended to increase access to Microsoft programs that support citizens, with an emphasis on K-20 education, student entrepreneurs, software startups and job seekers. They're also intended to help expand local economies through increased digital literacy, computer science education and workforce development.

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