Microsoft is taking advantage of unused airwaves between TV stations — or white spaces — to provide wireless internet in Puerto Rico after its broadband infrastructure was severely damaged during Hurricane Maria.
The U.S. territory is still reeling from hurricane damage months later amid uncharacteristically slow recovery efforts — 40 percent of its cell sites are still down and large swaths of the island still lack power.
Microsoft is also offering internet connectivity via white spaces in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were impacted by Hurricane Maria as well.
The company's introduction of its white spaces on the island comes as it makes moves to expand the technology to rural parts of the U.S., where internet service has not kept pace with that in urban and suburban areas.
The software company could benefit from offering the service in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, by using its service to the islands as a test run for future, larger projects.
Other technology firms have tried extending a helping hand to Puerto Rico with their products. Tesla, for example, has deployed its battery packs and solar panels in an attempt provide power to an island that desperately needs it.