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Microsoft upgrades rural U.S. Net access

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Photographs by AP/CAROLYN KASTER

Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer of Microsoft, speaks Tuesday in Washington about Microsoft’s project to bring broadband Internet access to rural parts of the United States.

For years, Microsoft Corp. focused its efforts to expand high-speed Internet access on developing markets around the world. Now the company is waking up to the problem in its own backyard, after the 2016 presidential election shed light on how far rural parts of America had fallen behind cities in reliable, fast connectivity -- and the challenges that gap poses for residents.

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