A pioneering project to bring broadband to developing countries using ‘white spaces’ technology has taken an unexpected turn in the typhoon-hit Philippine island of Bohol, following the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that killed thousands in October.
Bohol was one of the places selected by Microsoft for the trial of ‘white spaces’ technology, a 12-month initiative which uses idle channels in the broadcast TV spectrum, coupled with solar or wind base stations, to provide connectivity in rural areas.
Besides the Philippines, Microsoft – which has been testing TV white spaces for 12 years – has focused mainly in the African continent, which is the world’s last major untouched market for Internet access.
Only 16% of the population use the Internet and few Africans have the landlines to connect. Google and Microsoft are chasing this massive market, attempting to provide white spaces Internet access to rural areas.
Photo Credit: Rwanda Government