C Spire announced the formation of a consortium including Microsoft, Nokia, Airspan Networks and Siklu, intended to better deliver broadband services to rural areas.
Ridgeland, Miss.-based C Spire said that “real-world testbeds” will be established in Mississippi and Alabama, regions in which a third of residents don’t have broadband access, to test and deploy a variety of broadband technologies and service models.
The consortium will advance blueprints for new broadband adoption models that will be shared with regional fixed and wireless internet service providers, utilizes and other operators.
C Spire will kick off the its rural broadband initiative by hosting an International Wireless Industry Consortium’s event, “Enhancing Rural Connectivity: New Wireless Opportunities and Deployment Scenarios” at a New Orleans workshop Jan. 29-31.
"Access to and adoption of broadband technology is critically important to economically move rural communities forward and ensure they are not left behind in today's new digital economy," said C Spire president Stephen Bye, in a statement.
"Our nation's broadband adoption gap is a solvable problem that will not be limited in the next few years by the coming breath of new technologies themselves, but rather how well we facilitate them to scale at the edge," added C Spire Chief innovation officer Craig Sparks. "Hyperlocal collaboration and highly automated tools combined with these easy-to-deploy network technologies are going to be key enablers," he added. "C Spire's intent is to bring the thought leaders in this consortium together to disrupt our own thinking in these areas."