For the past few years, Microsoft has been aiming to deliver broadband services to people living in rural areas in the U.S. Over 23 million such U.S. citizens are deprived of high-speed internet, along with millions more all over the world. The tech giant has now announced that it is teaming up with broadband wireless access solutions provider, RADWIN, to develop TV white space solutions that will help deliver affordable broadband services to underserved communities globally.
"White spaces" are unused parts of the television spectrum that can be modified to send data at high speeds over distances of up to 10 kilometers. The collaboration aims to speed up the introduction of innovative technologies into the TV white space market. It is part of Microsoft's Rural Airband Initiative that was announced last year - a program that aims to bring broadband connectivity to 2 million people living in rural America by 2022.
The tech giant has stated that TV white space, along with a mixture of other technologies, can enable communications in remote rural terrains with relative ease. This will ultimately help address the rural broadband gap not only in the U.S., but all over the world.
Paul Garnett, Senior Director of the Microsoft Airband Initiative, commented on the partnership, noting:
"The TV White Space radio ecosystem is rapidly growing, and we are excited to work with RADWIN to bring innovative technologies to market at a global scale. Our partnership with RADWIN, a recognized global leader in fixed wireless broadband access, will help address the rural broadband gap for residents and businesses, enabling farmers, healthcare professionals, educators, business leaders and others to fully participate in the digital economy."
Microsoft has been working on using spare white spaces for several years now. Back in 2015, the firm launched the first TV white space network in Africa, following the successful initiation of pilot projects employing use of the same technology. Later that year, it partnered up with the Indian government to introduce similar projects.
With the formation of this strategic partnership, both companies will be hoping that they've taken a major step forward in the journey towards high-speed internet for rural communities all over the world.