At the National Governors Association’s winter meeting today, Microsoft announced their partnership with Packerland Broadband to bring broadband internet access to people living in rural regions of northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan over the next four years.
Packerland Broadband will use Microsoft’s TV White Spaces technology and Wi-Fi hardware to extend the reach of its fiber-coax and wireless delivery platforms. As part of this partnership, Packerland will also provide Windows devices, Office 365 and other Microsoft’s cloud-based services to small businesses, consumers and students, as well as digital literacy skills training. Packerland will also make use of Azure as part of its operations management.
“This partnership with Packerland Broadband will help us address the rural broadband gap in northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula,” said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. “Broadband has become the electricity of the 21st century, essential for education, business, agriculture and health care. Microsoft’s Airband Initiative is focused on bringing this necessity of life to 2 million people in rural counties by 2022.”
“Partnering with Microsoft allows us to bring new services and push our services further into the rural landscape in our region and beyond,” said Cory Heigl, vice president of Packerland Broadband. “We are the people we serve, and in this part of the world, we want to make an impact for the better. Our partnership with Microsoft will help us to influence lives by improving at-home education, enhancing economic opportunities, keeping up with health care advancements and furthering the agricultural innovation of our rural communities.”
Learn more about this partnership here.