Technology Brings Internet to Underserved Communities
Though the United States is a global technology leader, available government data indicates that roughly 25 million Americans lack adequate, affordable access to high-speed internet, including more than 19 million people in rural communities.
Microsoft connectivity data suggests that the broadband gap is much higher, with as many as 162.8 million Americans not accessing the internet at broadband speeds.
Without affordable, reliable broadband connectivity, people in rural areas are held back by limited access to educational, employment, and business opportunities. Research shows that broadband usage has a direct impact on jobs and economic growth.
But proven technology exists that can affordably bring wireless broadband to communities in rural America. This technology utilizes 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 technology is already successfully extending broadband in the U.S. and countries around the world.
Watch how TV white spaces broadband is helping a small community in rural New York:
In the U.S., technology providers are ready to invest in expanding access with this 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 to transmit wireless broadband signals over long distances. These critically needed rules will help spur private-sector initiatives to bring high-speed internet to millions of Americans who currently lack access.
TV White Space and Dynamic Spectrum Vision (video) – Microsoft Research
Closing the rural broadband gap is an urgent national crisis – Shelley McKinley, Microsoft on the Issues
It’s time for a new approach for mapping broadband data to better serve Americans – John Kahan, Microsoft on the Issues
A rural broadband strategy: connecting rural America to new opportunities – Brad Smith, Microsoft on the Issues
What is TV White Space? (video) – Adaptrum
Case Study: MBC Homework Gap Project (video) – Adaptrum