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Microsoft Pursues Rural School Bus Internet Via TVWS Tech

Microsoft wants to use empty television airwaves to transmit high-speed internet signals into rural Michigan school buses.

The tech giant cites research showing that 70 percent of teachers now assign homework requiring that students have broadband access. However, some 5 million households lack such services.

The proposed deployment would address this issue in rural Hillman, Michigan school buses, by providing experimental high‐speed wireless using TV white space technology. Students would then be able to access the internet to complete homework during their morning and afternoon routes.

Each school bus would be equipped with a TVWS radio, which the proposal said would communicate with fixed TVWS base stations to ensure the devices would only operate in authorized areas.

Because the project might interfere with other area communications via other personal mobile devices, Microsoft must receive FCC approval before proceeding with partner Allband Communications, a cooperative internet service provider serving rural northeast Michigan.

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