White Spaces Internet
White Spaces internet is one of the latest and perhaps most promising and close to reality internet technologies. It is supported by many of the biggest industry leaders such Microsoft and Google through alliances such as White Spaces Coalition and Wireless Innovation Alliance but also grassroots and non-profit groups that are closer to the consumer’s need such as Free Press that campaigned for it when the FCC was considering White Spaces.
White Spaces refers to the use of an empty part of the broadcast spectrum that can be made available for other use. This year in the United States and soon in Canada television stations will cease to broadcast in the 700Mhz range and some consumers will need to use the much publicized digital convertors. That broadcast range has already been tested and approved by the FCC to deliver high speed internet. Years of TV viewing have shown the usability and range of TV broadcasts and how that signal penetrates walls and travels through obstacles. This characteristic makes the (up to) 700Mhz range almost ideal for internet delivery.
With that potential seemingly close to realization there is a promise of cheaper and better internet access that may even be able to deliver 40Mbps – easily 8 times more than most current offerings – speeds in the near future. Most consumers having been forced into limited speeds, poor support and limited infrastructure by traditional telephone and cable companies have to be happy with a new technology that seems to hold real promise. Devices to deliver this, while not fully defined or publicized, are near and should be available in the not too distant future.