Microsoft is teaming up with an Ohio-based company to bring broadband internet access to underserved parts of the Valley.

"It will be done in a variety of ways, but the Airband Initiative is really using the underutilized TV spectrum that's out there," said Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted.

Portions of rural northern Trumbull County and much of Columbiana County have little to no access to broadband internet. 

It's a gap in service that Husted says is creating an educational and economical digital divide.

"Many communities who don't have access to it don't have the opportunity to bring in businesses that need access to the global network of digital technologies that are available through the internet," Husted said.

The project, in partnership with Watch Communications out of Lima, Ohio, should take about three years to complete.

A total of 288,000 Ohioans don't have access to broadband internet.

Trumbull County leaders say they know about the problem and they're trying to find solutions.

The Trumbull County Planning Commission applied for grants to do a feasibility study of residential areas to determine where the need is at and if new technology can help.

"Probably the entire northern half of our county is slow and underserved," said Nicholas Coggins, assistant director of the planning commission.