back to article If at first you don't succeed, you're Microsoft pushing its magical white space broadband

As you enter the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC, you step back in time. Abraham Lincoln stayed here just prior to his inauguration; Martin Luther King made the final edits to his most famous speech in its lobby; and Alexander Graham Bell used as it as the venue to demonstrate a coast-to-coast telephone call. On Tuesday, …

  1. Bob Vistakin
    Facepalm

    Ever thrown a party where nobody came?

    All that spectrum just crying out for a decent mobile handset.

  2. Captain DaFt

    MS has a weird type of OCD

    It seems to increase exponentially when confronted by negative feedback.

    I believe the medical term is "mule-headed contrariness". ☺

  3. martinusher Silver badge

    Its 2017 and people still think radio is something that you 'tune'

    I've never been a MSFT fan but its about time someone cut them a break and, while they're about it, recognize that radio just aint what it used to be. Time was that analog TV channels -- those things on the UHF band that nobody watches -- were prone to interference from carriers that are too close, maybe in the 'white space', but analog TV is long gone in the US (and probably everywhere else) so we're now looking at a lot of reusable spectrum. Trouble is, we're also looking at a lot of valuable property that various parasitic corporations (including those that have been buying up these TV stations) seek to monetize.

    Of more immediate relevance is that the wireless providers are trying to slide in regulations that override local government planning processes so they can install 5G cells on street furniture without opposition. The current state of the art means that these are likely to be a bit of an eyesore, up to the "size of a small refrigerator". This is the wave of the future, unless MSFT gets their way when there's likely to be competition (which we obviously don't want....another reason why MSFT isn't getting fair play).

  4. Dagg

    Analog may be gone

    But the digital still needs the spectrum space and each digital channel still takes the same space as an analog, they can just fit more channels into it.

    There are also a lot of other non TV users of the VHF and UHF spectrum. CB radio, Hams, land mobile even wireless car and garage remotes. It would be funny if MS stuffed them up and no one could open their car or garage door.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Relying on a white space database

    Yeah, that's a great idea right before the 'repack' where many stations are going to change their broadcast frequency over the next three years.

    And oh yeah, there will be a whole lot less white space left once the repack is complete! I don't understand why Microsoft doesn't just buy spectrum like everyone else. Or buy Dish Network who holds tons of spectrum it has never used and will eventually lose if it doesn't use it soon or sell it to someone who will.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Brilliant financial plan

    Really. Have the local government front half the cost. Of course !

    That way, the people who sign up pay $1000 bucks, and them plus everyone who doesn't pay more out of their taxes.

    So Microsoft is basically saying to 25 million people : "your taxes will be funding this, you might as well add $1000 and benefit from it".

    I'm not sure I'd like that argument.

    1. Fatman

      Re: Brilliant financial plan

      <quote>Have the local government front half the cost. Of course !</quote>

      It's the Republican mantra - socialize the costs and privatize the profits.

  7. Hans 1
    WTF?

    >"it's over 50 per cent cheaper than the cost of current fixed wireless technology like 4G."

    Then it is not cheap enough, because 4G brings in money, lots of it ... and is used not only by the locals, but also by the passerbys ... Feynman, I think Slurp have reached yet another level, how far cam they fall ?

  8. Mage Silver badge
    Devil

    white space broadband

    So called "White Space" transmission is greed, interference producing and should be illegal forever, everywhere*. It shows a fundamental disregard for mathematics and physics. Ultimately Thermodynamics.

    It's Spectrum theft from legitimate users.

    It can ONLY work if (1) EVERY receiver of EVERY application in the spectrum is reporting in real time to the Internet and (2) no so called "white space" transmitter uses a channel without real time Internet interrogation of the central database.

    (1) Isn't possible, nor practical for existing spectrum users.

    (2) is open to abuse.

    It's corporate greed, as is proposal for LTE on ISM bands (WiFi bands etc).

    [* Though if MS pays Ofcom enough they will allow it after 2019 even if illegal under ITU rules.]

  9. elip

    fuck all yall

    Fuck all you guys! I hate MS with a passion - one of their frivolous IP lawsuits against my past employer ensured I got to spend a solid 6 months plugging in USB drives into our repo servers, moving data, handing said USB drive to security dude; rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat...

    With that said, I have 3Mb out here in the boons, with .5Mb up on a good day. My service is utter shit and I pay $50 a month, because there is one ISP available to me. I will gladly pay 1000 bucks up-front, and another 100 a month for 10Mb down, please...pretty please?!!!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re-hashing the same tired idea over and over again with minor cosmetic changes... that doesn't sound like MSFT.

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