Whitespace Technology Ltd becomes Microsoft Strategic TV Whitespace partner

Sheffield-based start-up becomes Microsoft Airband Initiative partner for Europe and Africa, using innovative solutions to connect the unconnected.

Whitespace Technology has announced a new strategic collaboration with Microsoft which will see the Sheffield-based company use TV Whitespace (TVWS) technology to deliver broadband access across the UK, Europe and in Africa.

The partnership is part of the Microsoft Airband Initiative, which aims to extend broadband access to people in unserved portions of rural communities around the world.

This concludes a 24-month collaboration between the two companies and focusses on taking the technology to some of the 3 billion unconnected users worldwide through regional development, research & development and joint marketing.

Whitespace Technology Limited is a UK-based Internet Service Provider focussed on delivering broadband in areas where it’s never gone before, Connecting the Unconnected.

Supported by Microsoft, Whitespace Technology will deliver the first scale commercial TVWS rollout in the UK and become the main provider capable of delivering affordable TV whitespace solutions in UK, Europe, and beyond.

“Without reliable internet access, many people living in rural communities around the world are unable to take advantage of the same opportunities as their urban neighbours,” said Shelley McKinley, Microsoft’s head of Technology and Corporate Responsibility.

“We are excited to partner with Whitespace Technology to bring broadband to students, farmers, educators and business owners so that they have an equal opportunity to learn, grow, contribute and prosper in the 21st century economy.”

Whitespace Technology will use the Microsoft cloud platform, Azure, including analytics and IoT services to create the most robust and reliable ecosystem to scale the business internationally.

Broadband services are critical to nearly all aspects of our daily lives, and increasingly relied upon for everything from public services and education to banking and taxation.

TV Whitespace can be utilised in areas where other broadband services are not viable, whether for technical or commercial reasons.

TVWS services are important as the spectrum tends to be readily available, the signal can travel for long distances (around 10km) and, critically, line of sight is not required.

Affordable, scalable, and relatively simple to install and maintain, TVWS solutions have the capacity to connect the unconnected on a global scale.

“The Whitespace Technology team we have assembled, has extensive experience in ISP creation from startup to scale, and delivering great technical services whilst maintaining passion for the product and the customer experience.

“We’re applying innovative TVWS technology to our legacy knowledge and using this to deliver life-changing services to communities all over the world”, said Mark Wheeler, Whitespace Technology CEO.

“We’re so excited to be working with the great team at Microsoft to take our knowledge and passion to drive the Microsoft Airband Initiative’s global connectivity ambitions forward, and to demonstrate that TVWS solutions can be implemented quickly, at a fraction of the cost of other technologies, to create a robust and reliable service.”

The Microsoft Airband Initiative is focused on bringing broadband coverage to rural communities through commercial partnerships and investment in digital skills training for people in the newly connected communities..

About Whitespace Technology

Whitespace Technology has been building and testing TV white space technology and infrastructure in some of the most challenging areas of the UK for the last two years.

Founded by Mark Wheeler in 2016, the Whitespace core team has more than 60 years’ experience creating, building and scaling high growth, innovative, customer-focussed ISPs.

The team has been involved in some of the UK’s biggest communications providers including PlusNet and BT. The Whitespace team has its home in Sheffield, with satellite offices in Scotland.