Dell, Microsoft Launching Broadband Net in Rural Virginia

Computer companies joining with TDF Foundation, Spectrum Bridge to launch network using "white spaces"

Computer companies Dell and Microsoft are scheduled to join with TDF Foundation and Spectrum Bridge Wednesday to launch a broadband network in rural Virginia using the so-called white spaces between TV channels.

House Communications Subcommitee Chairman Rick Boucher, who represents rural Virginia, is scheduled to be on hand as the companies host a Webcast with residents of an Appalachian community talking about how wireless Interent connectivity can change their lives.

The government is currently working on a national broadband plan, including freeing up even more spectrum space for wireless Internet.

Spectrum Bridge, a sort of Ebay for identifying available spectrum in secondary markets, launched a Web site in February to help identify available open TV channels. The site can be used by wireless Internet providers to figure out whether there is enough spectrum in a potential service area to make it economically viable.