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Microsoft Airband ISP Program

Closing the Rural Broadband Gap

Steps we’re taking to help extend broadband network access to unserved and underserved rural areas of the country through the Microsoft Airband initiative.

Broadband internet service gives people important new opportunities to improve their economic situation, access educational resources, obtain critical medical services, and many other benefits. Yet, millions of people in rural America still don’t have access to basic connectivity.

American Tower is in an excellent position to help Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) bring broadband connectivity to people in unserved and underserved rural areas of the country, and we’re committed to supporting them every step of the way. We also recognize that collaboration among leading technology companies is essential to making it financially feasible for these smaller providers to accelerate network expansion in areas with low population densities.

With that in mind, we are collaborating with Microsoft Corp. to help close the rural broadband gap through the Microsoft Airband ISP program. With our combined solutions and dedication to bringing vital broadband internet services to more people faster, both companies are in a better position to drive change.

Here’s a brief look at how we’re able to help Airband ISP program members extend broadband access in rural America.

A Strong Portfolio of Towers Supporting Rural Broadband Initiatives

With more than 40,000 towers across the U.S., we give Airband ISP program members a variety of location options for developing their networks. Most importantly, we specialize in rural towers. More than 60 percent of our towers are located in rural and suburban areas and 85 percent of these towers are 150 feet or taller, making them ideal for rural network expansion projects.*

To help bring the benefits of our tower portfolio to more Airband ISP program members, American Tower is a preferred tower provider for the program.

Creative and Flexible Approaches

Astrea®, one of our newest customers, specializes in bringing high-speed internet, TV, and phone services to people living in Michigan and Wisconsin. They’re the first Airband ISP program member to partner with us and provide a good example of how we can help WISPs achieve their business and operational goals.

In this case, our towers in Wisconsin were in the right locations for Astrea to take broadband to underserved areas. Along with towers in key locations, we were able to offer Astrea attractive commercial terms that helped get more sites connected, faster, with a pricing structure that made sense for their business model.

We understand that smaller, rural-focused internet providers, such as Astrea Connect, need creative and flexible solutions to expand their networks, and we’re ready to offer options that help meet those needs.

Longtime WISP Specialists

One of the main reasons we understand the unique challenges and constraints that Astrea and other rural service providers face is because we’ve been working closely with WISPs around the country for years.

We’ve helped more than 400 WISP customers expand their networks, and we’ve been an active member of the WISP Association (WISPA) for eight years.

Our dedicated team of WISP and rural tower experts knows how to support WISPs at every stage of network buildout, from analyzing business opportunities and identifying the right sites to developing creative approaches needed for timely return on investment.

Learn More

Complete the form below to learn more about how our participation in the Microsoft Airband ISP program can help with your efforts to extend broadband network access to underserved, rural areas

*Based on American Tower methodology leveraging U.S. Census population data.

Astrea® is a registered trademark of CCI Systems, Inc.

Steve Baker
Steve joined American Tower in 2000 and has held various levels of responsibilities within the services, sales, and managed sites divisions. He currently leads business development initiatives for new products and solutions.

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