TV White Space-powered container classroom deployed in Nueva Ecija

The province of Nueva Ecija and Microsoft Philippines have unveiled a new Internet-enabled container classroom called EGG in Cabanatuan City.

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The EGG Command Center is a central hub that provides connectivity to public schools and government agencies through TV White Space technology.

Public schools can connect through the EGG Command Center for the collection of various types of data including system health data, delivery of cached DepEd content such as curriculums for various subjects taught, and commencement of system updates.

The EGG Command Center is optimized for disaster risk and recovery as it is equipped with medical and fire safety equipment. If the area has no electricity, it generates its own power through solar panels found on top of its unfolded roof.

Further, it utilizes an engine that collects rainwater that can be used to irrigate the land it is on or to be filtered as potable drinking water.

Initially, the EGG Command Center in Cabanatuan will connect two public schools in the vicinity. In the future, it is possible to connect to more public schools or possible new EGG classrooms deployed in various areas.

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The Department of Education (DepEd) said there are still over 6,000 locations with no power and connectivity in the Philippines. In these off-grid locations, students trek long distances everyday just to get online to research important facts for their homework or get updated with the latest findings in science and technology and in current events.

But connectivity in off-grid regions is possible via TV White Space —the unused VHF and UHF TV channels that can be used to deliver broadband access over wider areas is made possible using today’s Wi-Fi spectrum. Its excellent range and obstacle penetration characteristics makes it a better option for connectivity in the provinces where schools are far away from the villages or telecommunications cell sites.

Bertrand Launay, Microsoft Philippines managing director, said digital technology can transform education in the countryside.

“We can see how technology affects how we live, work and interact with everybody. Now, we can see how technology can engage every student even though they live in an unconnected area,” Launay said.

“Launching the EGG Command Center in Cabanatuan, the Gateway to the North, is a great start to bringing quality education to every single Filipino wherever they are located,” he added.

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