Possibility of internet for education

In Guatemala, a problem that education has faced during the pandemic, especially at the pre-primary, primary and secondary levels, is the scarce access to the internet, especially in rural areas of the country, due to poor or no connection, and due to the lack of resources to access it. The companies that provide the service, for obvious reasons, give priority to densely populated areas and places with the ability to pay, neglecting rural communities where extreme poverty reigns. There is a technology that can help solve this problem: the TV-WhiteSpace (TVWS) infrastructure, which consists of taking advantage of “empty” television channels; in reality it is a “dynamic use of the spectrum”, according to the international coalition of companies and institutions that promotes it: the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA). The technology was developed to establish a connection to the internet using free television channels allowing data communication. With the transition from the analogue to the digital era, a much more efficient use of radioelectric resources occurs. For example, where before there was an analog channel, now it could be up to three digital channels, and with this there are free channels that can be used by this technology. This type of infrastructure can improve connectivity services and applications with the Internet of Things (IoT). Currently there are already designed equipment that allows the application of the technology, among them those developed by Carlson Wireless Technologies, 6 Harmonics, Metric System Corporation, Adaptrum, etc.

Internet connectivity is key to digital transformation and inclusion, which is crucial today for social growth and development. However, almost 50% of the world’s population is not connected, and also the coverage is uneven: “the digital divide” does not only exist between different regions of the world, but also between cities and rural areas. Guatemala is no exception. That gap can be closed by properly managing frequencies. The DSA states “that blank UHF TV channels that nobody uses can be used to provide low-cost broadband internet and connectivity for the IoT, promoting digital inclusion. It is a matter of locating free frequencies, but also of finding them in portions of the spectrum that can be used ”. In Guatemala, Albavisión, which owns the rights to several frequencies, is taking the initiative together with Microsoft to provide the infrastructure with a social focus. However, apparently, the authorities of the Superintendency of Telecommunications are still not aware of this great opportunity, so we call on them to contribute by facilitating the processes and establishing clear regulations to avoid the use for profit. you might take the initiative when your true potential is discovered.

The internet could reach many parts of the country, especially those with little penetration and far from cities. There are examples in other countries with great success where the USAID, Microsoft, open television companies, radio broadcasters and others have collaborated. Guatemala must take advantage of technology not only to close the “digital divide”, but to improve education. The reality is that there should no longer be schools without an internet connection, since the network has become the medium for data communication, for teaching classes, for exchanging knowledge, for simulating laboratories and for many other things, the area Rural people can access knowledge if their inhabitants are given the opportunity, and this technology could allow it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *