Q: What exactly is TV White Space and why is it used?
A: TV White Space refers to the unused broadcasting frequencies in the wireless spectrum. Click here to watch a quick video that shows exactly what and how TV White Space is used in this program.
Q: Why are you offering broadband internet for free? What’s the catch? How can this be free?
A: Microsoft and MBC, with support from the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, partnered on The Homework Network to close the digital divide in Southern Virginia. This pilot program is being tested in two counties – Charlotte and Halifax – where only half of the students have access to home internet. This program was designed to help students that live in this community. There is no catch. It’s a program designed to help our students succeed academically and the best way to help them succeed is to provide them with free access to those resources. In this case, that resource is the internet.
Q: What is the process to get free internet?
A: Registration for this program is now closed.
Q: What equipment is used to provide this service?
A: An antenna with a CPE (customer premise equipment) box is mounted outside of the home and a router is needed inside. A single hole is drilled to allow the wire from the outside equipment to connect with the router inside. All costs for equipment and installation on the home are covered by the project – there is no cost to the homeowner.
Q: Is this limited to residents Charlotte and Halifax Counties only?
A: At this time, yes.
Q: Will this program roll out to additional communities?
A: At this time, the program is limited to Charlotte and Halifax Counties only.
Q: Is this regular internet? Why is it called a Homework Network? What makes it special?
A: This internet is a bit different than the general internet. Working closely with our local schools, the broadband internet connection provided to residents through this program mimics the online resources that are available at school. Essentially, if you could access the website at school, you can access it at home; if you can’t access it at school, you can’t access it at home either.
Q: Who do I call if I have issues with the internet?
A: If you are having issues with your connection, please call (866) 800-8886 and press 1 for technical support. This is the internet service provider B2X Online.
Q: Do other programs like this exist?
A: This Homework Network is a pilot program and the first program of its kind in the United States. The first of Microsoft’s Rural Airband Initiative, similar pilot programs will roll out to an additional 11 communities in the United States.