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Spectrum In The News

Microsoft Teams With the Government of Kenya and Indigo Telecom to Deliver Low-Cost, Solar-Powered Broadband Access Using Cutting-Edge TV White Space Technology. (image credit: Greg Von Doersten)

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Delivering low-cost, solar-powered Internet access to rural Kenya

Paul Garnett, Director - Affordable Access Initiatives, June 2015

Recently, I returned to Nanyuki, Kenya to check on the progress of a unique project Microsoft launched with Mawingu Networks, Jamii Telecom Limited and the Kenyan Ministry of ICT to deliver low-cost, solar-powered Internet access and device charging to rural Kenya.

The project, launched two years ago, utilizes ‘white spaces’ – TV frequencies assigned to broadcasters but not used locally – that could be used to provide wireless, broadband access to the 80 percent of Kenyans who do not have access to the Internet.

The project is already reaping measurable benefits. Just ask Steven Mwaniki from the Gakawa Secondary School in Nanyuki, which is located on the equator in the foothills of Mt. Kenya. A few months after being connected to the Internet for the first time, Steven posted his first online comment in response to an article on Kenya’s Daily Nation website: “As one of the lucky student[s] of Gakawa secondary school [I] am so humbled by the kind of noble project that you guys have brought to our school. That is so kind of you. We promise to take great care of this precious project. We are so grateful of you and may our Might Lord bless you forever.”

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Pilot and Trial Press Mentions

Seattle Center Project

Microsoft and the City of Seattle are teaming up to bring fast, free Wi-Fi that uses “TV white space” technology to people who visit Seattle Center, a spacious city attraction that hosts major festivals and draws tourists from around the world.

Botswana Pilot Project

Using TV white spaces to bring internet connectivity and telemedicine services hospitals and clinics in outlying areas of Botswana. (more)

Jamaica Pilot Project

Microsoft is providing technical support for technology deployment of a TV White Spaces pilot in partnership with the Universal Service Fund of Jamaica, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Jamaica, Microsoft and NetHope, Inc., to promote national development of broadband-based information and communication technologies in Jamaica.

Ghana Commercial Pilot

Commercial partnership with Internet service provider SpectraLink Wireless and research partnership with Facebook. (more)

Namibia Trial

Microsoft and partners successfully trial largest TV Whites Spaces project in the world.

South Africa Commercial Pilot

Microsoft lights up Limpopo to enhance the education experience. (more)

Philippines Trial

Microsoft is working with local stakeholders to improve the lives of fishermen in the Philippines. (more)

Kenya Commercial Pilot

Microsoft is working with key partners in Kenya to use TV White Spaces to deliver connectivity and learning access to remote villages in Kenya. (more)

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Press Mentions: Microsoft on Spectrum

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