Somehow I missed this one from a few days ago, but it looks pretty interesting. Zayo announced earlier this week a partnership with Microsoft in support of the Microsoft Airband Initiative.
The initiative aims to bring connectivity to underserved rural areas worldwide, a laudable goal that many claim to be solving. In this case we are talking about rural areas in the USA, and Microsoft is looking to bring 3 million people on-net over the next two years or so by enabling rural ISPs with additional access options like TV white spaces frequencies.
For its part, Zayo will be providing the backbone and regional fiber needed to connect up those rural ISPs. For the most part they'll be able to leverage the K-12 educational and wireless backhaul fiber they've built out over the years, although by the nature of the initiative there will surely be some builds into new territory in there somewhere.
We're all waiting for the closing of Zayo's purchase by EQT and Digital Colony sometime in the next few months. But in the meantime they have been busy, and according to their blog are well into a new buildout of regional/metro fiber in central Florida. That's certainly been one of the bigger remaining gaps in the company's metro reach until now.
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