Wilmington First to Deploy White Space Broadband
Wilmington Park Deploys Improved Range 'Super Wi-Fi'
by Karl Bode 04:18PM Thursday Jan 26 2012 Tipped by treichhart
directs our attention to the fact that New Hanover County, North Carolina this week became the first county in the United States to deploy a "Super Wi-Fi" network. Also known as white space broadband, the technology makes use of unlicensed wireless spectrum freed from the migration to digital television. FCC rules governing such devices were approved in 2010
, with the FCC creating new databases used by devices to confirm that they won't create interference to nearby devices.
There have been trials of the technology
elsewhere, but Wilmington, North Carolina today became the first city to see practical deployment. A press statement
by the Wireless Innovation Alliance (whose members include Microsoft, Google and Dell) notes Wilmington was chosen because of their quick digital TV transition:
Wilmington was the first city in 2008 to make the successful transition from Analog to Digital Television. As a result of this transition, the city had early access to the broadcast spectrum "white spaces" that emerged from the shift. These white spaces are ideal for Super Wi-Fi deployment since their physical properties allow for stronger signals that provide better penetration and allow Wi-Fi to travel further distances than more common, traditional Wi-Fi networks. A subsequent trial of the Super Wi-Fi network took place in 2011.
The press release offers absolutely no quality details on the launch, probably because the actual details are a little less thrilling than the release's claim that the deployment helps "drive innovation in the American economy." Forbes
notes that the network will be used to offer Wi-Fi and connect a few video cameras in a few parks. White Space broadband was selected because its longer range meant a simpler installation, and the city "didn't want to cut trees or put in a ton of hardware."