Microsoft’s rural broadband gamble might have millions of winners

12 January 2019 by Steve Blum
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The rural/urban broadband divide is deep, according to a report by Microsoft. For people living and working in rural areas, it’s confirmation of what they already know, but it’s valuable nonetheless. Microsoft’s critique of the available data – and the 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload speed standard – is a useful corporate counterweight to the claims made by AT&T and Frontier, which are the telcos receiving the lion’s share of federal broadband subsidies for 10 Mbps down/1 Mbps up service in rural California.… More

Microsoft discovers Google's business model in spectral gaps

22 July 2017 by Steve Blum
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Me too.

Microsoft’s TV white space broadband initiative is many things – a worthy effort to expand Internet access, a way of squeezing more useable bandwidth out of finite radio spectrum, a call to action for rural economic development and, as willingly acknowledged, a business opportunity.

It is also a foray into the market economics of free software. White space is the gaps between active television channels, which vary according to where you are in relation to whatever TV stations might be around.… More

Google's free white space database could preempt paid competition and boost market

21 November 2013 by Steve Blum
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Room for broadband in the television space.

White space spectrum is finally moving out of the lab and toward commercial deployments. Google has opened up its database of usable U.S. white space frequencies to all comers, at no charge. The technology is far from standardised yet, but with free access to the data necessary to make it work, that process can get started.

The idea behind white space spectrum is that frequencies allocated for broadcast television service are not fully used.… More