July 26, 2017

Microsoft eyes buffer zone in TV airwaves for rural internet

12 July 2017, 12:32 | Candice Butler

Microsoft targets rural areas for new broadband service; NC not on first list

To Close Digital Divide, Microsoft to Harness Unused Television Channels

Allies for Microsoft include internet service providers, since the tech giant doesn't want to be an ISP itself.

Although the buffer zones, known as white spaces, are now unused, Wharton said they are important for preventing adjacent channels from interfering with each other.

Microsoft hopes to run the white-space technology project, called the Rural Airband Initiative, in 12 states by 2018. Since 2008, Microsoft and other companies have been involved in tests of television white spaces for internet access. And while a range of solutions will be required to connect these people, the company said that it chose to use TV spectrum instead of fiber optic cables or fixed wireless technology, such as 4G, because it is significantly cheaper. Finally, it has to overcome a signficant cost hurdle - hardware for use with white space-based broadband is expensive, though Microsoft told the Times that it will be able to get pricing down for hardware it'll demonstrate at an event today to below $200.

The plans come with hurdles, including the cost of technology-compatible devices, and opposition from the National Association of Broadcasters.

Microsoft is aiming to connect 2 million people with its own investments, and eventually helping partners serve more than 20 million people with rural broadband connections.

Around 1000 Cinema Theatres In Tamil Nadu To Stay Shut From Today
They (both AIADMK and DMK) have been using the Entertainment Tax as a method to control the film industry. Hope the acclaimed director's fervent appeal achieve its objective and the Tamil film industry is saved.

Microsoft intends to announce a new campaign in an attempt to phase out the breach in highspeed internet access within the hardest to reach areas in the country.

"It's the height of arrogance for Microsoft-a $540 billion company-to demand free, unlicensed spectrum after refusing to bid on broadcast TV airwaves in the recent FCC incentive auction", said Dennis Wharton, NAB's executive vice president of communications, said in a terse statement. "The real challenge is getting the number of users, the scale".

"We said, 'Wow, the problems they're trying to solve in rural parts of Africa are the same we have in rural Virginia, on the technology side, '" Deriso said. "You need a type of technology that can go longer distances and has better penetration".

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai visited Deriso's southern Virginia office on Tuesday to talk about the project, around the same time Smith was unveiling Microsoft's plan to industry and political leaders at a Washington hotel near the White House.

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