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Last week, Microsoft announced collaborations with rural and small metropolitan communities in six U.S. states where the company will invest in technology and pertinent employment. Known as the TechSpark Program, it was first launched by Microsoft president Brad Smith in Fargo, N.D.,- a small urban community with over 200,000 residents (that’s also home to a Microsoft campus with about 1,500 employees).

TechSpark is a long-term multi-million-dollar investment effort to teach students computer science, expand rural broadband, along with creating and filling jobs. In July, Microsoft announced plans to provide broadband services to rural America through its Rural Airband Initiative. According to Smith, the six communities Microsoft selected are distinguishable by design, and Microsoft doesn’t have a presence in every community.

Microsoft’s plan is to use new technologies in unused TV white space in the 600 MHz band, tapping buffer zones separating individual television channels in airwaves that might appear cheaper than existing methods like laying fiber-optic cable. The company initially was going to use this technology in developing countries, but redirected its focus to rural America this summer. Smith pointed out the diversity within the United States, along with the importance for Microsoft to learn more about the changes digital technology is making in different parts of the country, so the company can broaden its presence throughout the states.

The latest program will also take place in communities of states including Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Aside from Fargo, the only other location revealed for the TechSpark Program is Appleton, Wis. Other communities will be announced at a later date. Microsoft stated its intentions of partnering with rural telecommunications providers in 12 states, with hopes of providing high-speed internet to 2 million Americans living in rural communities over the next five years. Microsoft aims to reach these milestones by July 4, 2022.

According to Smith, approximately 23.4 million Americans are living in rural communities without broadband coverage. Smith states the program’s success will largely be measured first by its ability to provide digital skills to students, followed by job creation, economic growth, along with making differences in lives of real people.

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