Microsoft and Redline Communications partner to Address Rural Broadband Gap

Redline Communications and Microsoft announce partnership to lower the cost of TV White Space solutions

The partnership will help make broadband more affordable and accessible for unserved communities in rural areas of the U.S. and globally

Redline Communications and Microsoft Corp. announced a new partnership that will help address the rural broadband gap using TV White Space technology. Redline, a leader in private wireless networks, will provide its Virtual Fiberâ„¢ 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 inthe 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 opportunities that 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 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."

"With its Virtual Fiberâ„¢ technology, Redline has been leading the TV White Space market and has been active in digital divide projects for almost a decade," said Rob Williams, CEO at Redline. "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. 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.

Source: Microsoft media announcement

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