Microsoft Bringing Rural Broadband Effort to Indiana

Posted: Updated:
(photo courtesy of Microsoft) (photo courtesy of Microsoft)
WASHINGTON, D.C. -

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) has announced plans to expand the Microsoft Airband Initiative to several new states next year, including Indiana. The effort, in which the company works with local partners to make broadband Internet access available to more people in rural communities, launched in 2017 in 13 states. Shelley McKinley, general manager of technology and corporate responsibility for Microsoft, says more than 19 million people who live in rural America do not have access to broadband, and the Airband Initiative aims to close that gap.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, McKinley says about 850,000 Hoosiers don't have access to broadband, according to data from the Federal Communications Commission.

"In fact, our own Microsoft data shows that 4.3 million people in Indiana are not using broadband at broadband speeds, so as the world becomes more increasingly digital, that means that they don't have the opportunity to participate in the economy as everyone else," said McKinley. "We know that there's no 'one size fits all' solution to providing broadband to a community so we're committed to understanding what are those unique challenges that are facing people in the state and we do that by working with a variety of local partners who are operating in the state that very much understand the challenges and issues."

McKinley says specific plans for Indiana will be announced in the future. She says the company looks forward to working with local and state partners, including Governor Eric Holcomb and Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, who have made rural broadband an important part of the administration's infrastructure agenda. 

"With nearly 493,000 Hoosiers living in Internet darkness, it is encouraging to see Microsoft take the initiative in bringing broadband to rural areas in Indiana,” Crouch said in a statement to Inside INdiana Business. “Private sector investments like these are crucial in supporting the public sector initiatives happening at the federal and state levels and in addressing the overall broadband problem.”

Microsoft says the Airband Initiative will reach three million Americans in rural communities by July 4, 2022. The additional states, which also include California, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia, will see the program implemented by this time next year.

You can learn more about the Microsoft Airband Initiative by clicking here.

  • Perspectives

    • Seven Steps to Overcome Your Fear of Writing

      "I hate to write!" While that phrase is music to my ears, because it ensures my income will persist, it also saddens me. Far too many people dislike writing, largely because they’re intimidated by the process of knitting words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs. Nearly everyone needs to write from time to time, and the ability to assemble words in a coherent way can impact your success. Whether you have to write reports, proposals, memos, or even emails...
    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Indiana Liquor Group to Buy Save-On Liquor Chain

      Indiana Liquor Group LLC will work with the Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission this week for final approval of its purchase of Save-On Liquor stores. Our partners at The Herald Bulletin report Phillip E. Miller agreed to sell the 31-location package store chain to ILG last month. 

    • Books & Brews Acquires Flat12 Bierwerks

      Indianapolis-based Books & Brews has announced its acquisition of Flat12 Bierwerks, also based in Indy. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, however Books & Brews says it will continue to operate Flat12 under the same brand name. The acquisition is a continuation of an existing partnership between the two entities. Books & Brews says Flat12 has been a brewery partner for the past two years, brewing all of B&B's flagship and seasonal beers.

    • New Tourism Director Has Plans For Growth

      The new director of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development says she hopes to create a strategic plan to continue the growth of tourism in the state. Misty Weisensteiner began her new role earlier this month after being appointed by Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch in December. The former executive director of the Orange County Economic Development Partnership says tourism and economic development go hand-in-hand and there needs to be a greater focus on that relationship.

    • Loeb Stadium Project in Final Design Phase

      The $17 million overhaul of Loeb Stadium in Lafayette is in its final planning stages. The Journal & Courier says the overall design of the project is complete, which includes flipping the field, an additional suite and a new entrance designed to be a more visible landmark. Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski unveiled plans for the reimagining of the more than 75-year-old stadium in 2017. The city council earlier this month approved a $17 million bond to fund the project.

    • BMWC Constructors Announce Leadership Changes

      Indianapolis-based BMWC Constructors, Inc. continues their strategic growth with leadership changes. Chairman of the Board Jim Davis retired after eight years in the role and after 30 years with the company.  President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Acton will move into the role of Chairman of the Board, while remaining CEO.