The Prime Minister of Namibia Hage Geingob this week launched a project designed to tackle the growing ‘digital divide’ in the country by connecting schools and offices in poor communities to the internet using so-called ‘white spaces’ for television services. The project, which is due to be completed in August 2014 by the MyDigitalBridge Foundation, will initially see 24 schools and ten circuit offices connected to broadband internet via TV white spaces (TVWS), The Namibian newspaper reports. TVWS are available for unlicensed use at a number of locations, especially where no other TV broadcasting exists, and are considered ‘highly desirable’ for wireless broadband communications. The MyDigitalBridge foundation is a non-profit organisation which will, in the pilot phase, deploy TVWS technology to the regions of Oshana, Omusati and Ohangwena, as part of a wider plan to ‘facilitate and implement appropriate private public sector initiatives to attain universal access and service’, the paper said. Commenting on the initiative, the prime minister said: ‘This project has the potential to become the blueprint of ensuring broadband internet connectivity countrywide,’ adding that ‘the lack of technologically advanced services in rural areas has created a digital divide in the country. Through fixed broadband internet, the government can also achieve its objectives for the National Development Plan 4’.
Namibia-based MyDigitalBridge foundation describes itself as a not-for-profit entity that has as its mission: to enrich the lives of marginalised communities through equitable access to technology by facilitating and implementing appropriate private public sector initiatives in order to attain universal access and service and to act in an advisory capacity to relevant stakeholders.