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First Public White-Space Network Is Alive 97

An anonymous reader writes "The first public white space network officially launched on Wednesday in Claudville, Virginia. It uses sensing technology from Spectrum Bridge with software and Web cams supplied by Microsoft and PCs from by Dell. The project was funded the TDF Foundation. White space networks use unlicensed television spectrum and have been called 'WiFi on steroids.' They offer more bandwidth, over larger areas, than does WiFi. IT companies duked it out with broadcasters for years to get white spaces approved by the FCC. They finally got the FCC's nod in November, 2008."
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First Public White-Space Network Is Alive

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  • Re:Good thing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by perlchild ( 582235 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @06:43PM (#29829787)

    Anything will prove "The tragedy of the commons" as it doesn't really need proof at this point. However, expanding the commons is like that. The alternative is a shrinking commons, or actually having enough accountability and imputability that it's not really "the commons" anymore, but some form of public property under private ownership or management. I for one welcome expanding commons.

    As for cell bandwidth, the process is so political, it's not really surprising they refuse or fight less for frequencies that are better, and duke it out with google for poorer frequencies. It lets the management say it's all someone else's fault.

  • Re:Good thing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by icebike ( 68054 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @07:47PM (#29830299)

    A foot long? Oh come on!!!

    We are talking about "700-megahertz" band, covering TV channels 52 to 69 (698 to 806 MHz).

    The upper end of this is only marginally longer wavelength than the 850MHz band used for 850-GSM cellular today.

    This bandwidth could easily be merged into the cellular spectrum with virtually no change in antenna length required, or at best a marginal increase in length that would easily fit in the modern smart phone package format.

    A quarter wave antenna for 850MHz is 3.3 inches.
    for 800MHz a length of 3.50 inches is optimal.
    for 700MHz 4.01 inches, etc.

    The iPhone is 4.25 inches tall. Similar phones have similar sizes, all of which would accommodate a quarter wave for these frequencies.

  • Re:Why Claudville? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @07:58PM (#29830399)
    And according to the FCC DTV maps, they can only expect to receive two (!) TV stations,

    You didn't read the "maps" correctly. They are expected to get two STRONG signals, and 6 weak ones. The weak ones are on UHF 19, 29, 51, 33 and 14.

    If the "white space" devices in that area are as capable of reading the maps as you are, those people WILL only get two stations instead of the 8 they might, especially those people who have invested money in good outside antennas so they CAN get the other weak signals.

    But they're hicks who don't deserve TV anyway, right?

  • Re:Why Claudville? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @08:40PM (#29830719)
    If they have an outside antenna, it's going to be highly directional.
  • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @10:18PM (#29831247) Journal

    As far as the range? You can make a microwave signal go light years and a HAM signal go a few feet (although, there will be some distortion for transmitting a signal over a distance shorter than the wavelength). The range is more of a function of signal power.

    You're horribly wrong.

    Distance has everything to do with frequency. You aren't going to have shortwave/ham radio skipping around the world with a 2.4GHz transmitter no matter how much power you put into it. Similarly, there's a reason WiFi is popular at 2.4Ghz but the higher 5Ghz band used with the now-forgotten 802.11a standard has been vastly less utilized.

    Frequency determines how well a signal will disperse around obstacles, and therefore, whether it will work AT ALL if you don't have 100% line-of-sight between transmitter and receiver.

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe