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Microsoft Leads The Way On Rural Broadband

Microsoft Leads the Way on Rural Broadband

Did you know that more than 10 million US households have no broadband access to the Internet? Forget about Khan Academy. Forget about Netflix. Forget about Facebook or New York Times, which feature image and video heavily today. Forget about online education, which limits those households to only local, under-funded schooling and professional training options.

Did you also that know 40 million US households are limited to 25 MB of Internet access? If you have an iPhone in Seattle, you are accustomed to at least 50 MB speeds. Those 40 million households have sluggish access on a good day, and awful service at least half the time. And worse, those households only have one ISP, so they pay a premium for low-grade service. Meanwhile households in cities like Chattanooga, Nashville, and even Seattle have access to multiple ISPs who offer at least 1000MB access. Think about that for a minute – that’s more than 40x the speed!

This digital divide isn’t closing – it’s getting worse every year. The US Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and nearly every state have failed to provide the economic mechanism and/or the rights-of-way to allow broadband providers to make the private investment to solve this problem.

Today, Microsoft has taken the bold step of leading the way to a private-public partnership into TV White Space to solve the problem once and for all. They are making an investment into 12 regions over the next 12 months to prove that this model works. The lucky states are: Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Learn more about Microsoft rural broadband strategy here.

If you have access to broadband, you can watch the video here:


  • Michael Schutzler

    Michael Schutzler is an entrepreneur, engineer, science geek, and first generation immigrant. He is the CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA). Before joining the WTIA, Michael led the merger of Livemocha – a community of 17 million language learners – with the popular education software company Rosetta Stone. He also built into the first profitable social media application, transformed online marketing at, and grew the online gaming business at RealNetworks to become a global leader. He teaches part time at the University Of Washington Foster School of Business, serves on several boards, and is an investor in Flowplay, YouSolar, Koru, Moment, 9 Mile Labs, Alliance of Angels, Keiretsu Forum, and Social Venture Partners. As a successful Internet entrepreneur, lead angel investor, and veteran executive coach, Michael has personally invested in twenty-four companies, served as coach and advisor to more than 100 executives, and has raised over $50M in private financing.

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