Technology Brings Internet to Underserved Communities
Though the United States is a global technology leader, 34 million Americans—including more than 19 million in rural communities—do not have adequate, affordable access to high-speed internet.
Without affordable, reliable broadband connectivity, people around the country, especially in rural areas, are held back by limited access to educational, employment, and business opportunities.
But proven technology exists that can affordably bring wireless broadband to communities across the nation, especially in rural America. This technology utilizes a part of spectrum known as TV white spaces to deliver broadband access over many miles, compared to Wi-Fi’s reach of approximately 100-325 yards. TV white spaces are spectrum that can be used for TV and radio broadcasts, as well as to deliver fast, affordable, reliable internet access. This emerging technology is already successfully extending broadband in countries around the world.
See Microsoft’s vision for TV white space and dynamic spectrum technologies:
In the U.S., technology providers are ready to begin rolling out this new broadband solution, but first policy action is needed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The FCC must establish supportive rules that provide sufficient TV white spaces spectrum in every U.S. market to transmit wireless broadband signals over long distances. This policy will open the doors to bringing high-speed internet to millions of Americans who currently lack access, as well as provide additional broadband choices in urban areas.
A rural broadband strategy: connecting rural America to new opportunities – Microsoft on the Issues
Microsoft calls for U.S. strategy to eliminate rural broadband gap within 5 years – Microsoft News Center
What is TV White Space? – Video from Adaptrum
Case Study: MBC Homework Gap Project – Video from Adaptrum
Bringing Connectivity to All Corners of the UK with TV White Space – Video from Nominet
Dynamic Spectrum and TV White Spaces – Microsoft Research Website