Microsoft planning to connect 2 million Americans using white spaces: Reports
Microsoft plans to announce that it will use unused channels between television programs or a blank space, to improve regional broadband access to 2 million people in the United States, but it has been reported.
According to a New York Times report, Microsoft will announce Tuesday with 12 states to benefit from the five-year program.
Microsoft president Brad Smith allegedly told the New York Times that white spaces are “the best solution to more than 80% of people living in rural areas in America who do not have broadband.”
The first 12 states are New York, Texas, Washington, Virginia, Michigan, Maine, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to Bloomberg.
Microsoft said in a June letter to the Commission at the request of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that it would seek to use the white space to allow greater broadband connectivity in the regions.
“Millions of Americans, including millions of students, mostly in rural communities do not have access to broadband Internet, which is an essential element for success in today’s digital society,” said letter from Microsoft [PDF].
“Microsoft Research and Community implementations have demonstrated that white-space technology is a very effective tool for extending existing broadband networks to underserved or marginalized communities.
In fact, blanks technology uses a frequency band that allows network operators to extend wireless broadband signals much further than other bands while requiring less infrastructure and increased affordability.
“As a result, technology blanks, suppliers can expand their networks to serve communities in existing technologies are economically impossible to implement.”
Microsoft added that the FCC could allow the use of white space that guarantee a minimum of three channels of white space for each market, while maintaining a vacant UHF channel in each market.
“This regulatory security is essential to support the investments needed to make an important step in reducing a chip technology,” Microsoft said, adding that it should not interfere with television broadcasts.
“This will reduce prices to levels that can allow availability over the country, but chip makers will take this as if there are three channels available.”
The technology giant has been discussing the use of white space around the world for years with technology using frequencies up to 10-15 kilometers, and can penetrate buildings.
Microsoft has been testing technology in Africa for several years as part of the 4Afrika initiative and also aimed at a pilot in southern India, Andhra Pradesh, and CEO Satya Nadella has taken issue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi In 2015.
However, the Indian government said it would not provide Microsoft with unused spectra.
“The government does not provide any spectrum without an auction and the only exception will be for defense and security institutions,” said IT Minister of Communications and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad last year.
At that time, Microsoft India president Bhaskar Pramanik said the company would not use white space for its own interests but rather to provide global connectivity.
“We never intended to be the service provider, our goal is simple, we want to empower entrepreneurs. [Microsoft] has invented technology … but did not play in this field, I am providing technology based on which partners have Established communication facilities that enable connectivity, “said Pramanik.