back to article Broadcasters, advocacy groups and nonprofits weigh in on Microsoft's magical broadband

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced it will pay third-party ISPs in the US to offer wireless broadband on unused TV spectrum, or "white space." As The Register's Kieren McCarthy argued, the financial logic behind this choice is questionable at best – and Microsoft hopes to take a share of revenue spoils. Advocacy groups and …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    "threaten millions of viewers with loss of lifeline broadcast TV programming"

    That's the punchline. Right there. Change that to "worthless, toxic, depression-inducing broadcast TV programming", and you might be nearer the truth.

    1. W4YBO

      "threaten millions of viewers with loss of lifeline broadcast TV programming"

      A tornado warning or flash flood warnings is what they're talking about. I'm the beneficiary of one of those warnings. Otherwise, I agree with "worthless, toxic, depression-inducing broadcast TV programming".

  2. Fred Goldstein

    The current US TVWS rules are very difficult to deal with because the NAB has too much say. TVWS must be absolutely certain to never, ever potentially cause one whit of inteference to any TV broadcast channel, ever, even if the TV owner misconfigures his antenna. It's ridiculous. And yet the NAB continues to try to make it even harder. Then along comes the fool Dampier who thinks that everyone should have fiber, only not on his dime, since in rural areas fiber can cost >$10,000/home while fixed wireless is a fraction of that. TVWS is especially useful for wooded areas where the higher frequencies more often used by Wireless ISPs are blocked by foliage.

  3. a_yank_lurker

    A History Lesson

    In the US cable was originally found in small towns out in the hinterlands to improve broadcast reception. The basic problems faced in the many areas of the US is distance and terrain. Some areas will always have poor signals because of the distances involved which is aided and abetted by the roughness of the the terrain. There are places in the US where there are no radio, TV, or cell phone signals. In these areas the 'last-mile' costs can be horrific no matter what the technology.

    The problem of interference should not be discounted because in these areas broadcast signals are often rebroadcast by repeaters on other channels. The channels are assigned to minimize interference with signals from neighboring areas. Start using up all your channels and someone will be fighting rf interference.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      "There are places in the US where there are no radio, TV, or cell phone signals."

      You actually make satellite "broadband" sound quite attractive.

      Do I smell a hint of Musk in the air?

    2. swschrad

      2 meg, eh? that's a godsend (heh heh)

      2 meg will get you on The Reg in about a minute and a half. similar money will get you higher power wifi, direct-link microwave or lightwave, lots of options. lots of power poles out there in Tumbleweed Corners to hang things on.

  4. JakeMS
    Thumb Up


    I hope they include telemetry as part of the broadband service to help ensure they can better understand peoples internet usage outside of Windows to help improve their products and services.

  5. Marty McFly Silver badge

    The future...

    Microsoft president Brad Smith said..."You don't create a PowerPoint slide showing the future and have a market with products the next week".

    And with that, the majority of tech company product roadmaps were just accurately described.

  6. Herby

    Good luck.

    They will need lots of it. A few years ago, some idiot "genius" thought it be nice to have internet over power lines. What a total disaster (as it should have been). Now this?

    I don't hold out much hope. Somebody "owns" the spectrum, and is woe to let squatters use it.

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