Residents in rural South Dakota will get a boost to their internet speeds as part of a Microsoft Corp. initiative to provide improved coverage to under-served areas across the United States.
Microsoft is partnering with Network Business Systems Inc. to provide broadband internet to rural areas in the Midwest, including South Dakota.
The companies announced their partnership Thursday, with plans to expand broadband access in Iowa, Illinois and South Dakota. The improvements will help an estimated 126,700 get better internet.
“Bringing broadband internet to underserved areas is more important than ever, especially as industries including education, healthcare and business are depending more on internet access,” said Kari Hofmann, general manager of Illinois-based Network Business Systems, in an emailed statement.
The company is partnering with Microsoft is part of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, a national effort to extend broadband access across the rural U.S.
Microsoft plans to improve coverage for 2 million people by July, 2022.
“Everyone deserves to have access to broadband, no matter where they live,” Microsoft executive Shelley McKinley said in an emailed statement. “Because access to broadband is access to digital opportunity.”
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