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Microsoft Partnership to Bring Broadband Access to Rural Ohio

photo of broadband access
SAM HENDREN
/
WOSU
The plan will provide coverage to nearly 1 million Ohioans.

Many rural Ohioans could soon be getting broadband internet access for the first time.

Many rural areas around the country have limited or even no broadband internet access because providers say it’s too expensive to run new cable or fiber optic lines. 

Agile Networks CEO Kyle Quillen said a partnership with Microsoft, known as the airband initiative, would avoid much of the expense by relying on wireless signals instead.

“This particular piece of spectrum works very similarly to your Wi-Fi signal that you have, but it utilizes the space between television channels that has essentially gone unutilized,” Quillen said.

The plan is to provide coverage for nearly 1 million Ohioans. About 100,000 of them currently have no broadband access at all.