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

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Laura Kelly
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The good, the bad and the ugly parts of Redmond's white space internet

Analysis 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 researchers are generally saying nice things about the Windows giant's Rural Broadband Initiative, but some point out it may not really solve the lack-of-decent-internet-access problem in rural America.

"Policymakers should not be misled by slick Microsoft promises that threaten millions of viewers with loss of lifeline broadcast TV programming."

The spokesperson added that "it's the height of arrogance for Microsoft" to "demand free, unlicensed spectrum" after "refusing to bid" on broadcast TV spectrum during a recent FCC auction, which was meant to redistribute low-band frequencies (around the 600MHz frequency range) that are useful for wireless broadband.

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Laura Kelly
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