Using “White Space” Airwaves To Address The Digital Divide

An article from Washington Post about a handful of tech companies, including Google, that want to use white space airwaves to provide broadband to rural areas.

Engineers from the technology heavyweights, including Motorola and Philips, lugged their laptops, antennas and other equipment to parks, homes and high-rises around the Washington area, hoping to prove to the Federal Communications Commission that the unlicensed airwaves between television stations, known as white spaces, could provide a new form of mobile Internet service.

Using white spaces “will provide a way to provide broadband across long distances at much faster speeds than cellphone networks and WiFi,” said Jake Ward, spokesman for the Wireless Innovation Alliance, which includes Google, Microsoft, HP and Dell. The group is trying to convince regulators that using the airwaves will provide broadband to rural schools, beam high-definition online video to low-income households and let consumers stream music while sitting in highway traffic.

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