Microsoft announced a plan to use white spaces for digital inclusion

Microsoft announced the “Rural Airband Initiative”, a plan to foster digital inclusion by using channels between television broadcasts, known as white spaces, in order to provide connectivity in rural areas of the Unites States. The company issued a call for government and corporate entities to invest in its $10 billion plan to eliminate the rural broadband gap. The company claims that internet connection through white space technology would be 80% cheaper than broadband and would cost half of a wireless connection. The plan encompasses three major actions: a) pursue direct investments with partners, including telcos; b) invest in digital skills training for people in these newly connected communities; c) stimulate investment through technology licensing. Microsoft plans to share lessons learned with other companies and stimulate investment through royalty-free access to more than 39 patents and sample source code related to technology they developed to enable broadband connectivity through TV white spaces spectrum.