Speed and options are key in a time when internet usage has sky-rocketed as businesses switch to remote working, and schools switch to virtual learning.
A proposal to provide more broadband funding across Minnesota faces an uncertain future this year as state officials consider how to spend federal virus-related aid.
The Minnesota Senate passed a $27 million broadband bill that relies on federal CARES Act money during the June special session, but the House never took up the bill. Republicans say House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Gov. Tim Walz have held up the bill over political issues, while Democrats say Walz is carefully weighing state spending priorities when it comes to federal COVID-19 funding.
As a result, the state may not get more broadband funding at a time when more Minnesotans are using the internet for work and school, something lawmakers agree will hurt Greater Minnesota over time.
"Rural broadband is a very important issue on par with rural electrification of the United States in the 1930s," said Sen. Nick Frentz, DFL-North Mankato.
Simplified Communications is glad to see Zayo and Microsoft teaming up to bring broadband services to rural communities.
Zayo provides communications infrastructure services, including fiber and bandwidth connectivity, colocation and cloud infrastructure.
Microsoft is an American multinational technology company that develops, manufactures, licenses, supports, and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services.
Zacks Equity Research reports:
“In a concerted effort to deploy rural broadband solutions across the United States, Zayo Group Holdings, Inc. ZAYO recently teamed up with Microsoft Corporation MSFT. Per the deal, Zayo will foster economic development and deliver seamless low-latency core fiber connectivity with a dedicated network infrastructure to some unprivileged communities, backed by Microsoft’s affordable broadband access initiative.
Dubbed Microsoft Airband Initiative, the venture was initiated in 2017 to eradicate the rural broadband gap across the United States, and was expanded worldwide last year. It has been successful in combining private sector capital investments with targeted support from public sector organizations to provide basic employment, education and healthcare amenities to needy communities, with the help of excellent network connectivity.
Given Zayo’s significant presence across Tier 1, 2, 3 and 4 U.S. cities, Airband works with multiple Internet access providers, equipment makers and local entrepreneurs to provide high-speed connection with the help of TV white space spectrum technology. This spectrum band has excellent broadcasting characteristics and large parts of it are unused in rural areas. Currently comprising 10 service provider partners, the Microsoft-backed undertaking aims to augment network connectivity to at least 3 million people in rural America by July 2022. Financial terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.”
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