Redmond, Wash. -- Redline Communications and Microsoft Corp. on Thursday shared they've signed a new partnership to help address the rural broadband gap using TV White Space technology, lower costs and easier accessibility.
Redline, a leading supplier of private wireless networks, will provide its Virtual Fiber radio technology in the TV White Space band to Microsoft Airband Initiative partners. Together, Redline and Microsoft's partnership will help make broadband Internet more affordable and accessible to unserved and underserved customers in rural areas in the United States and globally.
New cloud services and other technologies make broadband connectivity a necessity to start and grow a small business and to take advantage of advances in agriculture, telemedicine and education. It is a vital part of 21st century infrastructure. Yet more than 19.4 million Americans living in rural areas lack access to broadband and miss out on the many (and growing) opportunities connectivity provides. According to a study from Boston Consulting Group, a connectivity model that uses a combination of technologies, including TV White Space, can reduce the cost of extending broadband coverage in rural communities. TV White Space is an important part of the solution, creating broadband connections in UHF bands and enabling communication in challenging rural terrains and highly vegetated areas, all while protecting broadcasters and other licensees from harmful interference.
This new partnership is part of Microsoft's Airband Initiative, which aims to close the broadband gap by extending access to 2 million unserved people in rural America by 2022, using a mix of technology solutions, including TV White Space.
"Our work with Redline will increase the availability of competitively priced TV White Space technology, enabling Internet service providers (ISPs) to provide access to customers at an affordable price point," said Paul Garnett, senior director of the Microsoft Airband Initiative. "This availability and utilization of TV White Space is absolutely critical to closing the broadband gap. This partnership will bring rapid evolution to the technology, making a real impact on real lives."
Redline has used its Virtual Fiber technology to carve out a leadership role in the TV White Space market and has been involved in reducing the digital divide for almost 10 years, said Rob Williams, Redline CEO.
"In discussions with Microsoft, we realized that we shared the same vision for approaching the rural broadband gap, and we each possessed critical components to the solution," Williams said. "This partnership with Microsoft will help us address the digital divide more effectively in the U.S. and around the world."
In addition to the partnerships with companies like Redline, Microsoft's Airband Initiative invests in partnerships with ISPs and other telecommunications companies, introduces innovative solutions for rural connectivity, and provides digital skills training for people in newly connected communities.
UK mobile operator will use its 5G spectrum to launch a fixed wireless access (FWA) service in London in August and plans to have that offer, plus mobile 5G services, in 25 UK cities by the end of this year.
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