Google’s working on Wi-Fi balloons with Project Loon, Facebook has it’s internet.org project in Africa and now it appears that Microsoft is pitching into the efforts to help bring people in impoverished nations online.
The company has announced plans to use India’s unused TV spectrum for internet access. They plan to use the unused ‘white space’ that exists between analogue TV channels to bring internet access across the country.
Microsoft India chairman Bhaskar Pramanik said to the Hindustan Times, “Wi-Fi has a range of only about 100 metres, whereas the 200-300 MHz spectrum band available in the white space can reach up to 10 km. This spectrum belongs mainly to Doordarshan (Indian public broadcaster) and the government and is not used at all. We have sought clearance for a pilot project in two districts.”
If the ambitious project goes ahead, the plans could help bring greater internet access to a country largely disconnected from the digital world.