A recent news article, "Microsoft aims to bring broadband internet to millions in rural U.S.", in the Portland Press Herald caught our eye. Being a Maine based company, this is an ongoing issue to expanding job and business opportunities throughout our state and can often impact our more rural customers.
The internet has become such a part of our daily routine, that most of us don't think twice about utilizing it to accomplish our tasks and get through the work day.
Do you remember how things were when internet access was accessible only through a dial-up modem? The amount of information you could download was limited and the speed at which you could access it was unbearably slow by today's standards. It is unrealistic to think of going back to those days, but many in more remote and rural areas still struggle to get access to the internet.
More applications are moving to the cloud, or into hosted environments, as people look to take advantage of the benefits of this type of deployment. We blogged about the pros and cons of cloud software previously in our post "Is hosting in the cloud right for your organization?" With the shift in this direction, high speed internet access becomes even more critical.
I have limited knowledge on the various plans underway to try to mitigate this problem, but know that it is becoming more of a priority in my state. And, while I have no idea if Microsoft's plan to utilize the unused TV spectrum as a way to bring high speed internet to remote areas will work, it is encouraging to see investments being made in this area. According to the article, Microsoft plans to begin a pilot program in twelve states including Maine.
As we continue to move to a connected world, where jobs, education and other opportunities can be accessed regardless of geographic location, it's encouraging that the field might become more level as people in rural areas gain access to the same tools those of us in more urban areas are already using.
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