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Amazon, Verizon Join Forces for Rural Broadband Access

Verizon and Amazon’s Project Kuiper, an advanced low Earth orbit satellite network, will jointly develop connectivity solutions.
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Telecommunications titan Verizon Communications  (VZ) - Get Verizon Communications Inc. Report and technology/retail colossus Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report announced a joint effort Tuesday to provide broadband access in rural areas.

Verizon and Amazon’s Project Kuiper, an advanced low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite network, will jointly develop connectivity solutions for unserved and underserved communities, they said.

The partnership seeks to expand coverage and deliver new customer-focused connectivity solutions that combine Amazon’s advanced LEO satellite system and Verizon’s world-class wireless technology and infrastructure, the companies said.

“Project Kuiper and Verizon have begun to develop technical specifications and define preliminary commercial models for a range of connectivity services for U.S. consumers and global enterprise customers operating in rural and remote locations around the world,” the companies said.

Project Kuiper seeks to increase global broadband access through a constellation of 3,236 satellites in LEO around the planet.

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The system will serve individual households, as well as schools, hospitals, businesses and other organizations operating in places where Internet access is limited or unavailable, the companies said.

“To begin, Amazon and Verizon will focus on expanding Verizon data networks using cellular backhaul solutions from Project Kuiper,” they said. “The integration will leverage antenna development already in progress from the Project Kuiper team.”

It’s unclear whether the news had any impact on the companies’ share prices. Amazon on Tuesday traded at $3,366.87, up 1.4% t last check. It has gained only 3% so far this year amid concern about valuation.

Verizon on Tuesday traded at $53.03, up 0.9%. It has slid 10% so far this year amid concern about its potential for growth.

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