Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Microsoft Goes on TV White Spaces Offensive in Name of Rural Broadband

Microsoft proposes to expand broadband access to rural communities using a combination of TV white spaces (the unlicensed frequencies between television channels) fixed wireless and satellite. “This coverage can reduce the initial capital and operating costs by roughly 80 percent compared to the cost of using fiber cables alone and by approximately 50 percent compared to the cost of current fixed wireless technology,” the company says in a white paper released Tuesday. Using a mix of technologies, the cost to close the broadband gap would be between $8 and $12 billion, Microsoft estimates.

Microsoft supports the Commission’s proposal to preserve one UHF “white space” channel in each market now that TV broadcasters are transitioning into the channel repack post-auction, and urged the FCC to do this immediately, Inside Towers reported. NAB opposes this, saying not all the television stations that need to move to a new channel can be accommodated in the repack now and using white spaces would worsen that situation. Continue Reading

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