Rural communities in Illinois, Iowa, and South Dakota will get connection to the Internet

Network Business Systems and Microsoft this week announced a new agreement to deliver broadband internet access to rural communities in Illinois, Iowa, and South Dakota, including approximately 126,700 people who are currently unserved.

According to Microsoft, approximately 36 percent of people living in rural Illinois, 22 percent in rural Iowa and 25 percent in rural South Dakota lack access to broadband internet.

The partnership with Network Business Systems is part of the Microsoft Airband Initiative, which aims to extend broadband access to 2 million unserved people in rural America by July 4, 2022. Network Business Systems will construct and deploy wireless internet access networks using a mix of technologies including TV white spaces — vacant spectrum that can travel over long distances and rough terrain, including the the foliage that is common in the Midwestern landscape.

“Everyone deserves to have access to broadband — no matter where they live — because access to broadband is access to digital opportunity. Our partnership with Network Business Systems will help ensure that hundreds of thousands of people in Illinois, Iowa and South Dakota can participate in the 21st century economy.”

Shelley McKinley, Microsoft’s head of Technology and Corporate Responsibility

In June, Agile Networks and Microsoft announce the same plans for the rural communities in Ohio.