Web 2.0 technology and concepts have brought the world closer together. However, the connection and benefits from the internet haven’t been felt equally around the planet. There are millions of people still without access to the internet. Many of these people are in developing nations that do not have the infrastructure to support high-speed internet. But that is all changing with the development of white space connections.
White space technology could be the tech that brings all of the benefits of a connected world to the developing and underdeveloped nations of the world. Recently in Kenya, Microsoft and the Kenyan government have created a white space network powered by the sun! The system uses very little energy in regions where many people do not have access to electricity.
The solar powered system is the answer to electricity woes in Kenya and elsewhere in the developing world. The solar panels provide enough energy to charge back-up batteries so that the electronics and the white space network can be used during off-hours. But what exactly is white space?
White space is a spectrum in TV channels that has been relatively unused, usually in the 600MHz range. The signals can pass through obstacles and walls easily. This is important because of the lack of infrastructure in many developing countries, which requires effective long-range networks for the internet to work. Surprisingly, the range of these networks can reach upwards of 10 kilometers from one station. The speed is great too, 16mbps, powerful enough to run Skype calls or other bandwidth heavy processes.
This is great news for the developing world, and hopefully more countries will jump on the white space bandwagon. Who knows, maybe we’ll be seeing a vastly different population on social media and other user-generated pages. Their contribution to the internet is long overdue and it will most certainly be welcomed by online denizens!