In an interview with the Seattle Times, Microsoft recently announced a plan to start up a white space internet service, which will bring another internet option to the rural parts of America.
White Space As a Tool
Microsoft logo via < a href = “https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8b/Microsoft_logo_%282012%29_modified.png”>Wikimedia Commons
The idea is to use the white space in between television channels to broadcast an internet signal. Scientists have discovered a way to broadcast the signal over long distances, and this signal is strong enough to break through anything that might otherwise block it, such as buildings and trees. Microsoft’s plan involves about a $10 billion expense across twelve US states, which should bring the internet to about 2 million American residents.
The expense comes from the need for a special hardware to make this effort possible. Microsoft will need to set up base stations where they can put up white space antennas to send out the proper signal, while customers will need receivers to translate the white space into an internet signal. All this means the service will likely start off at about $1,000 per customer, along with an access fee. According to Microsoft, however, the price should drop to around $200 after the first year.
Pricey But With Potential
Prices like these may seem like a lot for rural living citizens, but this is also the first time this kind of technology is being used on such a large scale. Microsoft’s research plans to offer a new white space service for a portion of the country where internet is usually either inaccessible or too expensive, as well as bring the convenience of the web to more of an ever-growing world of technology.
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