Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"White space broadband" could revolutionize Internet access

As the U.S. and much of the world struggles with wire line infrastructure investment shortcomings and regulatory confusion that keeps broadband inaccessible for many, there's a potential technological advance that could completely revolutionize Internet access if it succeeds.

This "killer app" is called white space broadband and would provide wireless broadband at speeds that would blow away DSL and cable high speed Internet offerings and offer throughput comparable to fiber optic connections. It would utilize unused parts of the television broadcast spectrum called "white space."

Eric Bangeman of ars technica reports:

The White Space Coalition is comprised of Dell, EarthLink, Google, HP, Intel, Microsoft, and Philips Electronics. The FCC should conclude its testing of the white space broadband prototypes in July and the first rules governing the use of the spectrum by wireless broadband devices should be released in October 2007. Once that happens, the IEEE will likely begin the work of standardizing the tech. If all goes as planned, white space broadband service could begin in the US as soon as February 2009.

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