Adopting TV White Spaces in Colombia

Details of the organization
Agencia Nacional del Espectro
  • The organization has a strategy for coordinating WSIS Implementation at the national level: Yes
  • The organization has a national e-strategy: Yes

Information about the project
Adopting TV White Spaces in Colombia
Currently there are several connectivity issues in Colombia. First, providing connectivity in rural areas is unprofitable for private operators because population in those areas earn low incomes and live far away from each other. Although some countryside public schools have satellite connectivity, most of them can’t afford it since it is prohibitively expensive. Despite wireless broadband access being a technically feasible solution for this situation, most frequency bands are congested, have high licensing costs, are intended for different uses or cannot provide long communication ranges over the rough Colombian terrain. The use of the TV White Spaces (TVWS) is a solution suited to solve these issues. The adoption of this innovative technology in Colombia was possible thanks to several public-private partnerships involving the national radio spectrum regulator (ANE), the ICT Ministry, the Education Ministry, Microsoft, some radio manufacturers and a big internet service provider. The mission of this project was the publication of TVWS technical regulation, which was completed on August 2017. Despite this recent publication, there are a few key deployments that deeply reflect the impact of this project: a) Mesetas is a remote rural municipality previously affected by the Colombian armed conflict. A few months ago, a small TVWS deployment was implemented to provide connectivity to 5 coffee plantations and 2 public primary schools, contributing to enhancing the quality of education as well as promoting agriculture economic growth. b) Gobernación de Antioquia (the local government of that province) is testing this new technology to provide connectivity to two rural schools located in a mountainous rainforest area. A successful test result would convince the Gobernación to use this technology to connect all Antioquia rural schools (almost 4,000) improving quality of education. c) Gobernación de Caldas (another province local government) just signed an agreement to provide connectivity through TVWS to 15 public schools located in remote mountainous zones for testing purposes, benefiting more than 1,000 primary students.
National implementation: Colombia
Completed from 01/01/2016 to 08/08/2017
Ministerio de Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones Ministerio de Educación Nacional Computadores para Educar Microsoft USA Microsoft Colombia Adaptrum Redline 6 Harmonics Azteca Comunicaciones

WSIS information
* Information and communication infrastructure
  • Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
  • Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies
  • Project
  • Publication
  • Guidelines