Microsoft forms rural broadband advocacy group called Connect Americans Now | VentureBeat

Microsoft announced today that it will be launching a coalition called Connect Americans Now (CAN) to advocate for the FCC to eliminate regulatory hurdles that the group says are standing in the way of more widespread rural broadband deployment.

In addition to Microsoft, the coalition’s members include The App Association, a software trade organization, and the National Rural Education Association.

Specifically, CAN wants the FCC to “ensure that there is sufficient unlicensed low band spectrum in every market in the country to enable broadband connectivity.” Microsoft has endorsed the repurposing of TV white spaces spectrum — unoccupied TV channels — to deploy broadband in a cheaper way. According to CAN, 23.4 million out of the 34 million Americans who don’t have a broadband connection live in rural areas.