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White Space delivers green tech to Sierra Nevada Mountains

Spectrum Bridge brings trial networks to mountain folk

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Lessons learnt from the trials have been submitted to the FCC (pdf) and make interesting reading to anyone considering how white space might, eventually, be used. Notably the report details unexpected problems of interference from neighbouring TV channels, which could mean there's considerably less white space than anticipated thanks to the overwhelming power of TV transmissions.

From the trials Spectrum Bridge concludes that a database is the way to go, which shouldn't be a surprise from a company which hopes to land the contract to run that database, but the trials are all based on fixed links where the information won't change rapidly (weekly updates are consider acceptable) as opposed to the "Wi-Fi on Steroids" usage model that involves dynamically changing the frequency as the user moves around, as shown in Nokia's take on the matter:

Nokia doesn't let technical limitations stand in the way of cognitive radio, siding with Google's approach that "technology" will solve those problems and end users shouldn't worry their little heads about it. For fixed links that makes sense to us, but doing the same thing on the move is much harder.

Spectrum Bridge remains completely confident that mobile white space use can be done with equal utility, though it can't be demonstrated until the FCC decides under what conditions it will be allowed.

That's probably not going to happen until the autumn, so until then broadband in the Sierra Nevada Mountains will be limited to the lucky 12 houses involved in the trial - but at least we'll all be able to watch TV in comfort. ®

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