The Philippine government and Microsoft have teamed up to deliver TV White Spaces (TVWS) broadband technology to a huge sector of the population, offering WiFi connectivity at just a fraction of the cost of traditional cellular technology and providing long-range wireless Internet coverage to the more remote areas of the country. The new program supports smart grid applications that impacts millions of households, e-Commerce, e-Learning and e-Government tools.
Utilizing the unused spectrum previously allocated for television use, the technology has the ability to provide an immediate on-the-ground communications network for disaster relief respondents and victims of disaster. The network has the ability to be set up, backhauled via VSAT, and switched on in a matter of hours, providing two-way voice and data wireless communications for anyone with a functioning end user devices (handsets, laptops, tablets, etc.).
In addition, the network can be rapidly set up at very minimal cost and deployed with little technical expertise or support, while providing communication during disaster relief efforts. Pilot testing of the technology after the Bohol earthquake and Yolanda destruction in Visayas provided critical communications for relief and disaster efforts. The technology was expanded to the Leyte-Samar areas after typhoon Yolanda, and further with Typhoon Haiyan.