Partnership Aims to Extend Broadband in India


In more places than ever before, broadband is being considered a necessity, rather than a luxury. As more processes move online, Internet access has become an important part of global communities’ economic development, as well as consumers’ personal and professional lives.

Two organizations recently announced they will partner to extend broadband Internet access in India. The WSA (WhiteSpace Alliance),, and IIT Bombay (Indian Institute of Technology Bombay),, say they are launching the country’s first TV whitespace pilot tests in Q2 of 2014.

WSA is an international trade association that helps develop and implement high-efficiency spectrum-sharing solutions worldwide. WSA, its member companies, IIT Bombay, and other organizations are collaborating on the project thanks to a grant from the Ford Foundation. The organizations say the pilot tests will use “intelligent spectrum sharing” to provide fixed wireless broadband services to several villages in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

According to WSA, the villages do not currently have reliable Internet access. In fact, residents must often travel several kilometers to be able to gain access to the services available online. Apurva Mody, chairman of WSA, says dynamic allocation of available spectrum holds vast potential for accelerating broadband deployments. He adds, “TV whitespace solutions can help expand important e-education and e-health initiatives across the country.”

The pilots will take advantage of underutilized TV spectrum to provide wireless broadband access. The tests will attempt to demonstrate the viability of this method in accelerating broadband Internet across India, particularly among the country’s large rural population.

As our world becomes more connected, efforts to provide access to game-changing technologies to communities in need will help ensure certain populations do not fall dangerously behind. Because broadband can support economic development, widespread, low-cost Internet access could be considered an important issue affecting quality of life.

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