Global technology giant Microsoft will be working with the Andhra Pradesh government on a TV white spaces pilot project providing four schools in Srikakulam with Internet access.

As a part of the project, the Z.P. High School will act as the base station, while three other campuses would be receivers and will be located at a distance of 10 km or more from the base station.

Wi-Fi has a range of only about 100 meters, whereas the 200-300 MHz spectrum band available in the white space can reach up to 10 kms, making TV white spaces a new way to provide Internet access, without using licensed spectrum.

TV white spaces also moved a bit closer to reality in the United States as the Federal Communications Commission issued new rules on the upcoming 600-MHz spectrum auctions that will enable TV white spaces nationwide, creating technical rules for use of the duplex gap, guard bands, 600 MHz service band and channel 37.

As always, where it comes to license-exempt spectrum, concern about interference issues is a reason for concern. It also is fair to note that such expressed concerns also represent contestant business issues.

Where entities that benefit from use of licensed spectrum will express concerns about interference from additional license-exempt services, so entities that benefit from license-exempt spectrum will raise issues about potential interference from licensed entities.

Precisely how much TV white spaces spectrum will be available in any specific market will vary. But TV white spaces potentially can be used in channels 14 to 20. In principle, that means more than 50 MHz of new spectrum could be made available for TV white spaces.