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Microsoft, Others Combine to Push Rural Broadband Solutions

Microsoft, which has been pushing the use of TV white spaces to close the rural broadband divide, has joined with C Spire, Airspan Networks, Nokia and Siklu to form a coalition of the willing to come up with a "disruptive blueprint to close the adoption gap." The consortium will use Mississippi and Alabama as testbeds for driving affordable internet access and drive adoption. The consortium is launching under something of a cone of silence. C Spire said that the rural broadband effort will launch with a workshop in New Orleans Jan. 29-31 that will be closed to ...

A Case for Rural Broadband

In January 2018, the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity summarized initial findings on how to promote agriculture, economic development, job growth, infrastructure improvements, technological innovation, energy security, and quality of life in rural America. The Report identified Achieving e-Connectivity in Rural America as a central pillar to do so. President Donald Trump led the way by creating the American Broadband Initiative, which reflects the work of his Cabinet to support the private sector’s expansion of rural broadband and effectively steward Federal tax dollars in that partnership. This ...

A new approach to broadband connectivity - Good Video Overview of Airband

This page has more about Airband, but the video about one scroll down on the page provides a good overview of the Airband initiative and technology.  (no direct link availble)   The whitepapers and FAQs on this page are also helpful in describing TVWS and other technologies. 

About a quarter of rural Americans say access to high-speed internet is a major problem

September, 2018   Fast, reliable internet service has become essential for everything from getting news to finding a job. But 24% of rural adults say access to high-speed internet is a major problem in their local community, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted earlier this year. An additional 34% of rural residents see this as a minor problem, meaning that roughly six-in-ten rural Americans (58%) believe access to high speed internet is a problem in their area.  

Billy Williams



Success story case study on Garrett County Maryland

Broadband Data Validation and Demand Aggregation in Indiana

The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) announced in September 2018 the five communities that were being awarded a pilot broadband planning grant to “help gain an understanding of their current broadband conditions and needs, create a long-term broadband plan in their community, and identify options for achieving that vision.” The Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) was tapped to provide technical assistance to these five communities.   While a detailed description of the technical assistance activities provided by PCRD is beyond the scope of this paper, one critical type of support provided was collecting and analyzing ...

Broadband Mapping Initiative Report

Pilot project in better mapping of rural broadband access and need. Pilot in Missouri and Virginia. Report shared by Tim Arbeiter 9/25/2019. 

Can better broadband and big data save rural America?

Article on rural broadband (dated 10/19/2019)

Chairman Pai Names Working Group Chairs and Vice Chairs of Precision Agriculture Task Force

Media Contact: Mark Wigfield, (202) 418-0253 mark.wigfield@fcc.gov   For Immediate Release   CHAIRMAN PAI NAMES WORKING GROUP CHAIRS AND VICE CHAIRS OF PRECISION AGRICULTURE TASK FORCE First Task Force Meeting Scheduled for Monday, December 9 at the FCC -- WASHINGTON, December 6, 2019—Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today announced the leadership of the four working groups that will support the work of the FCC’s new Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture. The Task Force will hold its first meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, December 9 in the Commission Meeting Room ...

Connect Americans Now

Today, 34 million Americans lack an affordable and reliable broadband connection. Of these, 19.4 million live in rural areas. This digital divide means they are unable to take advantage of economic, health and educational opportunities that exist in other connected communities.   It’s time to eliminate the rural digital divide – and we can do it by utilizing a model that includes fiber-based, satellite and wireless technologies, leveraging a range of frequencies including TV white spaces. By adopting a solution that brings a wide array of stakeholders to the table, we can connect millions of Americans in a cost-effective manner. &...

Digital gap between rural and nonrural America persists

May 31, 2019   Rural Americans have made large gains in adopting digital technology over the past decade, but they generally remain less likely than urban or suburban adults to have home broadband or own a smartphone.   Roughly two-thirds of rural Americans (63%) say they have a broadband internet connection at home, up from about a third (35%) in 2007, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in early 2019. Rural Americans are now 12 percentage points less likely than Americans overall to have home broadband; in 2007, there was a 16-point gap between rural Americans (35%) and all U.S. adults (51%) on this question.   As ...

FCC Fixed Broadband Deployment Map

Fixed Broadband Deployment This application provides a visualization of the residential fixed broadband deployment data collected on FCC Form 477. Facilities-based providers of broadband service report Form 477 data in June and December each year. For more information about Form 477, to download the data, or to see reports generated from the dataset, please refer to the links at right.   Providers report fixed-broadband deployment data at the census block level. Form 477 data are reported using 2010 Census blocks. Providers may not offer service to every home in every block in which they report service. The calculations used to create the graphs treat every ...

Heather Hampton Knodle

How Connected are Our Farms?

Policymakers are typically aware of the discrepancy in broadband availability and adoption between rural and urban areas. The latest data from the National Broadband Map (NBM) suggests that while 100% of urban residents have access to at least one wired broadband provider, only 78% of rural residents do (National Telecommunications and Information Association (NTIA), 2014). This has significant implications for rural households and businesses, and the issue has received attention in the form of federal broadband grants and loans for rural populations (Kruger and Gilroy, 2013). However, one piece of the puzzle has been notably missing from discussions regarding rural broadband and future economic ...

It’s time for a new approach for mapping broadband data to better serve Americans

Izzy Abbass

Trilogy Networks, Inc.

Jason Kurtz

Map of Missouri Broadband Access

Map (no data files) for Missouri broadband access.  Missouri Broadband Access data from the latest American Community Survey which tries to refine the FCC maps Federal Broadband Datasets excellent slider map (split-pane) to see difference between FCC  Healthy Futures (hospitals and access) Location of hospitals (blue squares) and rating of access to primary care physicians Educational Access (schools and household access) shading is households with no internet as percentage, darker is higher percentage w/o

Map of Missouri Electric Cooperatives

There are 40 distribution cooperatives which provide electricity to individual homes, farms and businesses. Some of these co-ops are quite large while others may serve just one county. Missouri’s smallest electric cooperative has just over 2,000 member-owners while our largest has more than 40,000 members. Regardless of size, each operate in a similar fashion. Each member-owner has one vote at an annual membership meeting at which bylaws are approved and board members are elected. The board members, each a member of the cooperative, set policy for the co-op to direct day to day operations. For a printable map,&...

Microsoft Airband: An annual update on connecting rural America

Updated 3/5/2020, this page discusses the project and its rollout.

Microsoft puts $1.5 million into farm project near Fargo

FARGO, N.D. — Microsoft Corp. on Thursday, Oct. 17, announced a $1.5 million, three-year investment into the Fargo-based tech firm Emerging Prairie to help build what Microsoft calls the farm of the future at Emerging Prairie’s Grand Farm project.   Among the dignitaries attending the event at the Microsoft campus in Fargo were North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Microsoft President Brad Smith and Barry Batcheller of Fargo, one of the nation’s leading entrepreneurs in agricultural technology. Smith said the money will help develop a building at the project site, south of Fargo near the town of Horace, ...

Mobile Technology and Home Broadband 2019

37% of Americans now go online mostly using a smartphone, and these devices are increasingly cited as a reason for not having a high-speed internet connection at home

Rural Broadband Connectivity

Farmers and others in rural areas have limited access to broadband internet services. Without this access rural residents and businesses find it difficult to compete with those who have broadband access. Further, the lack of access leads to a drain of human resources from rural areas. Farmers need broadband services to use many of the advanced monitoring and management tools on the market today. As a business, they need access to compete with better served customers. 

Tim Arbeiter

Missouri Department of Economic Development

TV White Spaces : FAQ and Engineering Best Practices

This technical document from Microsoft's Airband Initiative. This is intended for people who will setup the equipment and create the network. It also provides some background on business questions, but mostly focuses on the technology nuts and bolts. 

University of Missouri System BROADBAND INITIATIVE

Video on Garrett County Maryland Rural Broadband

Vince Libertore

Microsoft Airband Initiative

Watch Communications and Microsoft announce partnership to bring broadband internet to Indiana, Ohio and Illinois

Deployment of technologies, including TV white spaces, is expected to cover more than four million people in the region, including 815,000 people in rural areas currently without access to broadband REDMOND, Wash. — July 9, 2019 — On Tuesday, Watch Communications and Microsoft Corp. announced an agreement aimed at closing the broadband gap, and the rural digital divide in particular, in the states of Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. The partnership is part of the Microsoft Airband Initiative, which is focused on extending broadband access to three million people in rural America by July 2022. The FCC reports that more ...

Wisper Internet

A Microsoft Airband partner based just se of St. Louis, MO in Mascoutah, IL. Second largest winner of CAFII funds (Connect America Fund, from FCC)   Wisper Internet Headquartered in Southern Illinois, Wisper ISP, Inc. provides high-speed internet in Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. In addition, Arkansas and Indiana will soon be in their coverage area. They are the second-largest winner in the FCC’s rural broadband auction, also known as The Connect America Fund Phase II. As a result, Wisper will use $220.3 million to expand internet service. A rising competitor in the ...