21 October 2009

First "white spaces" deployment

In this article, Ars Technica reports on what they claim is the first use of "white spaces" in the television band. As I stated in my iConference paper, I believe that the white spaces ruling will be of greatest benefit to rural communities.

Quoting the article:
The nation's first wireless broadband network operating in unused TV channel "white spaces" is now live in an unlikely spot—Claudville, Virginia.

Claudville is a small place—only 20,000 people live in the entire county, and only 900 in Claudville proper—and its Blue Ridge Mountain terrain has made Internet access hard to come by. Combine that with a countywide per capita income of $15,574 and its not hard to see why the big ISPs haven't rushed to Claudville.

In this case, the white spaces provided "backhaul" for WLANs that were deployed in town. I don't know whose equipment was used, though it appears to be a database-driven radio rather than a sensor-driven cognitive radio.

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