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Since PSA began promoting high speed internet options for rural areas in Southern New Mexico in 2008, the concept for using TV white-space technology continues to gain traction as an approach to improve economic development in rural areas.  In this article, Microsoft president Brad Smith presents an effort to connect 22 million rural users to high speed broadband internet.

“One thing we’ve concluded is just how important broadband is for all kinds of things,” Smith said in an interview ahead of the announcement.

It’s not just streaming high-definition movies, he said. Slow or nonexistent connections can hinder agriculture, business, education and health care, he said. Broadband “is about, increasingly, the necessities of life.”

His speech Tuesday was designed to raise the profile of the TV white-space technology, in which base stations tap into a database, ask what television spectrum is unused in the area (the “white space”), and send broadband data to customers using that frequency.