Technology giant Microsoft has agreed to work with Andhra Pradesh State Government on White Spaces, a technology that uses unused television spectrum to deliver low-cost internet connectivity.
The project, being implemented for the first time in the country, would be taken up at Srikakulam on a pilot basis. The project came up for discussion during the meeting of Microsoft India R&D Managing Director Anil Bhansali, National Technology Officer Prashant Shukla and other executives of the global major with Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu at Vijayawada on Friday.
The Microsoft, DEITY, ERNET and DOT are working with the State Government, in a first of its kind pilot, to bring low-cost broadband internet connectivity to four educational institutions in Srikakulam district. With ZP high school at Voppangi as base station, the other three campuses where the receivers were located were in distances of 10 km or more from the base station.
The TV white spaces technology would utilise the unused terrestrial TV spectrum to provide cheap internet connectivity to remote areas. The technology would dynamically allocate unused bands for broadband transmission without affecting the TV transmissions. It would provide wide coverage and cheap licence free access. While the Wi-Fi network covers a range of upto 100 metres, coverage under the 200-300 Mhz spectrum available in white space could reach upto 10 km.
Microsoft India Chairman Bhaskar Pramanik said that the technology could be the affordable answer to the last-mile connectivity challenges and it could be utilised in times of emergencies like natural disasters. The Microsoft had tested the pilot projects in Ghana, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa and Singapore.
Microsoft executives presented a cloud-based machine learning solution that the company had developed in collaboration with the Department of Primary Education to help asses drop out rates. The solution had been helpful in ensuring necessary interventions and reducing drop out rates in schools. The solution was being implemented on a pilot basis in Chittoor District under the Badi Palustondi, the flagship primary education project of the State Government.
The solution had been helpful in ensuring necessary interventions and reducing drop out rates in schools. Mr. Naidu was of the view that the machine learning solution had far-reaching impact in gathering necessary insights and take corrective measures in different sectors and State departments.
The Chief Minister later interacted with students in Voppangi, Singupuram, Fareedapeta and Sativada through Skype. The Chief Minister highlighted the potential of the TV Whitespaces and said that the project would help in achieving the last mile connectivity.
Mr. Naidu was of the view that the machine learning solution had far reaching impact in gathering necessary insights and take corrective measures in different sectors and State departments.