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Broadband Internet service can be costly. Some countries do not have high-speed Internet because of the costs involved. But Microsoft Corporation and other companies have found a way to bring low-cost, high-speed Internet service to Ghana. They are turning to some very high and ultra-high frequency bands to do so. The frequencies have yet to be used and are sometimes called White Spaces. Sean Sealey is chief executive officer of SpectraLink Wireless. His company and Microsoft are partners. He says their program provides students in rural Ghana with Internet service up to “five kilometers away from the university.”
The program combines Wi-Fi wireless technology with white space to provide Internet access to Ghana. Recently, the program became the first of its kind to do this. Sean Sealey says television white spaces can be thought of as super Wi-Fi. They can reach further than normal Wi-Fi and are less costly. Frank McCosker directs the program for Microsoft. He says the program is part of the company’s $75 million 4Africa initiative. Mr. McCosker says the program is investing in new businesses and new technologies. They also include training and partnerships with businesses in a number of other countries, including Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya and Namibia. He says the program works to find new ways to make Internet service more affordable. Mr. Sealey says he expects Internet service costs to drop in the area as “white space” connectivity becomes more available. SpectraLink Wireless now plans to take “white space” Internet access to Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Cameroon.