USA-based Microsoft Corporation has given equipment to a project being jointly implemented by Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) and University of Malawi’s Chancellor College to boost Internet access in the country.
Currently, Internet penetration in Malawi stands at a paltry 4.7 percent.
The equipment, which is a base station and two client stations, would act as access point to tap Internet connectivity from idle frequencies of TVWS.
Paul Garnett, director of technology policy at Microsoft, represented his company last week in Blantyre at Macra offices where the announcement of the donation was made.
He said in an interview the project was useful and it was the expectation of his company to see more people access Internet.
Garnett said globally, it has become important to have more people having access to the Internet.
Macra’s deputy director of spectrum management Jonathan Pinifolo said with the donation from Microsoft, they would be able to make at least 2 000 more people access Internet and they would target a school or a hospital.
He said the use of idle frequencies from TV technology is enabling more people to have access to the Internet.
Pinifolo said Malawi is on number three in Africa to use the TV technology and number five in the world, adding this was not a mean achievement.
“The project is in line with our mandate to promote universal ICT (information and communication technology) access in Malawi,” he said.
Dr Chomora Mikeka, a senior lecturer in the physics department at Chancellor College said research is important and the university has helped make the project successful in that area.
He said the new TV technology would help to lower Internet prices.