Microsoft won't just install some sort of contraption that will turn your TV into a broadband beaming device.
The company will propose that corporate and government funds support the service, which aims to provide access to the 23.4 million unconnected Americans who live in areas where broadband isn't easily available.
One of the topics that the Federal Communications Commission will cover at its July open meeting will be rules governing wireless microphones that Microsoft says "would block wireless broadband operations in whitespaces channels", according to an ex parte filing by the company earlier this month.
White space technology refers to the unused broadcasting frequencies in the wireless spectrum. The signals also are also more able to pass through hills and walls, which are often seen as obstacles with wifi.
Microsoft distributed a 50-page white paper, "A Rural Broadband Strategy: Connecting Rural America to New Opportunities" to more than 200 attendees (many of them Microsoft invitees) at the monthly Media Institute luncheon.
In the blog post, Smith said that Microsoft's goal is not to enter the telecommunications business or even to profit directly from the rural broadband projects. "Policymakers should not be misled by slick Microsoft promises that threaten millions of viewers with loss of lifeline broadcast TV programming", he warned. Smith hopes that through these new programs, Microsoft will connect 2 million more people, inspiring those in the public and private sectors alike to take a renewed interest in the broadband gap.
White spaces spectrum gets its name from its origin as the spectrum between TV channels.
Every once in a while, Microsoft - whose operating system for desktop computers has dominated the industry for years - takes on an initiative that is beyond its comfort zone, said independent telecom analyst Jeff Kagan.
In addition to the broadband plan, Microsoft is expected to announce the launch of a nonprofit that can help train those in rural communities to use broadband, especially those who want to use it for small businesses. Among other things, this will help stimulate investment by hardware companies to produce the needed chips for new devices at a higher scale and lower cost.
Eliminating the gap in high-speed Internet access is a holy grail for the hardest to reach rural communities.
"As a result, with white spaces technologies, providers can expand their networks to serve communities where existing technologies are economically impractical to deploy", Microsoft added.style="text-align: center;"