AFRINC has teamed up with numerous organisations and groups in Africa in attempts to promote access to affordable broadband in Africa through television channels.
Under the ambit of TV White Spaces, the organisations including Google, Internet Society, Microsoft, and the Association for Progressive Communications have organised a two-day (30-31 May 2013) forum in Dakar, Senegal, where issues relating to the expansion and provision of broadband Internet using television signals are being discussed.
“TVWS have remarkable prospective in Africa and beyond. This unused spectrum can be used for the enhancement of access, business opportunity, and economic growth. By working together, we can create standards and partnerships that ensure that this technology is used to bring broadband to more people in Africa and beyond” says Anne Rachel Inne, Chief Operations Officer at AFRINIC.
The organisers of the forum recognise the power of television broadcast signals to expand broadband to many parts of Africa. Given that Africa suffers from poor infrastructure, the use of TV white spaces would the answer to the provision of affordable and reliable broadband Internet to millions of people in the continent especially those living in remote and rural areas. The low cost connectivity will also ensure an expansion of the quality of Wi-Fi hotspots in densely populated urban areas. The fact that the television broadcast signals can penetrate physical obstacles like trees, buildings, and rugged terrain means access to the Internet would be significantly enhanced.
The forthcoming Africa Internet Summit in Lusaka, Zambia, organised by AFRINIC, will also further discuss the issue. The AIS’ 13 will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel between 9th and 21st June. Substantive issues relating to the Internet and access will be discussed during the Forum’s plenary scheduled for 17-21 June.