Microsoft's white space internet aims to improve education in Ghana

Microsoft has long been championing TV white space internet for use in places conventional types of connections don't reach, even in places that don't even have access to electricity. After a pilot program that brought white space broadband to some African universities, Redmond is now making it available to anyone in Ghana. The company has collaborated with local provider Spectra Wireless to launch what it claims is the "first commercial service network utilizing TV white spaces" in Africa. Now, people (specifically students) in Ghana can subscribe to affordable high-speed internet bundles and even internet-enabled devices, presumably phones, tablets and laptops.

While the project page doesn't have a comprehensive list of gadgets, it did mention the brands, namely: Microsoft, Lenovo, Dell and HP. Each internet/device plan will also give students access to useful apps like Microsoft Office 365 and The Microsoft Virtual Academy. The service costs at least 2 Ghana cedi (or roughly 60 cents) for a 24-hour internet access, going up depending on the duration and the speed. And, in case subscribers can't afford any of the devices offered, they can apply for a zero-interest loan, thanks to a partnership with a local bank.

Microsoft General Manager in Africa, Fernando de Sousa, believes TV white space broadband will provide teachers and students in Ghana what they need to improve education in the region. "High speed broadband offers students and teachers a way to access learning resources from all over the world, equalising the divide between developed and developing nations," he says. "While the initial pilot project in Ghana offered wireless broadband to universities, this new commercial service allows students to have their own internet bundles, determine their own usage and purchase an internet-enabled device for anytime, anywhere access and enhanced productivity."