Microsoft Corp. today touted the benefits of TV white spaces technology it has deployed to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to help their residents stay connected. In a blog posting today, Shelley McKinley, Microsoft’s general manager-technology and corporate responsibility, said, “In partnership with NetHope, government agencies, local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and local TV broadcasters, we have deployed TV White Space (TVWS) technology from our Airband initiative to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
TVWS are unused blocks of broadcast spectrum located between the frequencies assigned to television stations. It creates wireless broadband connections over great distances and in rugged terrain, with no line of sight. In Utuado, TVWS has been used to reestablish internet connectivity to a food distribution site, a health clinic and the University of Puerto Rico. These sites also serve as internet hotspots where people in the community can come and connect with their family and friends. … In addition to Utuado, we have TVWS sites up and running in Humacao, Puerto Rico; and in the U.S. Virgin Islands in St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas. And, TVWS will soon be working in Barranquitas and San Lorenzo in Puerto Rico.”