Feeds

White Space delivers green tech to Sierra Nevada Mountains

Spectrum Bridge brings trial networks to mountain folk

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Spectrum Bridge has been busy working out how to use the white spaces between the TV channels, while the FCC continues dithering over who gets to run the database of such channels.

The latest deployment put in by Spectrum Bridge connects up electricity sub-stations around the Sierra Nevada Mountains, allowing remote monitoring and load balancing, as well as providing broadband to a handful of houses so they can connect their meters to Google Powermeter: thus painting the project green. Which is all that's possible until the FCC gets round to deciding who is going to manage the spaces, and how.

Last year the FCC decided that where a TV station isn't using a particular frequency then low-powered radios should be allowed to operate without a licence. With a good eye for marketing Google quickly branded the technology "Wi-Fi on Steroids", but neither Google nor the equally-enthusiastic Microsoft could demonstrate white-space equipment with the ability to detect existing TV users, so the FCC decided that white space devices would be dependent on an online database to ensure they didn't interfere with the latest episode of America's Got Talent.

Since then the FCC has been trying to decide who should run that database, and how usage should be restricted (how often devices should check back, how much bandwidth they should be allowed to block book, etc.)

Google magnanimously volunteered to run a master database for nothing, collecting the location, make and frequency of every white-space device in America out of the goodness of its heart; but that idea has proved surprisingly unpopular with the rest of the industry.

So the debate continues, with half a dozen companies still vying to run the database(s) and TV companies joining forces with ISPs and radio microphone users to lobby for white space to be restricted to fixed point-to-point connections ideally suited to their own backhaul needs.

Meanwhile Spectrum Bridge has been running three trial networks to prove the technology works, and put itself in a good position when the FCC finally makes up its mind.

White Space Antenna

You won't get EastEnders on this, hopefully

The networks deployed by Spectrum Bridge transmit at four watts, attaining speeds up to 3Mb/sec over four miles in a 6MHz channel (US TV channels are 6MHz wide, ours are 8MHz). The great thing is that those connections don't need line of sight as the TV frequencies pass straight through trees and bushes and even, with a following wind, a building or two.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.