Will Microsoft broadband investment in US rural areas expand demand for streaming devices?
Did you know that 34 million Americans don’t have broadband internet access? And can you imagine that something so critical and vital nowadays isn’t available to 23.4 million of people who live in rural areas?
People who belong to these rural communities don’t take any advantage of the educational and economic opportunities (small business growth, advance in agriculture, telemedicine, etc.), just because they don’t have access to a broadband internet 25 Mbps connection.
Balloons, chain of satellites, high-altitude long-endurance planes, you name it, everything is being considered and under development to bring broadband connectivity to all world.
Microsoft has decided to eliminate this rural broadband gap with a world tested solution: the TV White Spaces spectrum, an unused spectrum in the UHF television bands, with a 600 MHz frequency range, that enables wireless signals to go over hills and through buildings and trees.
This kind of technology has been implemented in 20 TV white spaces projects, in 17 countries, serving 185,000 users, an experience that gives Microsoft very good know-how in implementing this solution.
Investing in this kind of technology dramatically reduces the cost of broadband rates on rural communities. Mixing the TV white spaces solution with satellite coverage may cut the cost of using fibre cables by 80 percent, and by 50 percent for wireless technology like 4G.
23.4 million Americans will have broadband internet connection by 2020, according to Microsoft’s estimates. This number will increase demand for a hitherto non-existent market in those rural areas: video streaming!
If you add to this demand the low cost of the broadband service, you can bet that soon all houses will need to have a set-top box to make their TV smarter. And soon, in rural areas it will be very normal to talk about Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, Amazon Prime, etc.