Posted by: lsinrc | March 19, 2007

New Broadband Access

Here is an interesting idea to help bring broadband to rural areas. It leaves a lot of questions about the ability to take a one-way communication technology and turn it into a two-way technology, but it is an interesting idea to keep watching.

FCC mulls new broadband service – eSchool News online

eSchool News staff and wire service reports
March 19, 2007

A new method of delivering broadband internet access to millions of Americans has the potential to expand greatly the number of students with broadband service at home–and it could provide a cheaper way for schools in remote areas to get online…At the center of this dispute are unused and unlicensed TV airwaves, part of the spectrum known as “white spaces.” These white spaces are located between channels 2 and 51 on televisions that are not hooked up to satellite or cable, though use of these services would not preclude anyone from accessing the internet over unused spectrum in their region.

“This is some prime spectrum real estate,” said Ben Scott, policy director for Free Press, a national nonpartisan public interest research group, which supports using the public airwaves for internet service.

In a nutshell, the technology companies want to beam internet access through the white space and into computers and mobile devices. And they argue rural Americans would benefit greatly, because the technology enables internet service to remote areas at a fraction of the cost of cable- and telephone-based subscription services.

“This is Wi-Fi on steroids,” Scott said.

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