One thing I'd point out is, I'm not sure I agree with Junko's definition of "white spaces." White spaces are locally unused TV channels within the TV broadcast bands. The 700 MHz spectrum should no longer be considered "white space," because TV lost channels 52-69 in 2009, with the end of (full power) analog TV broadcasting. So what we're really talking about, with "white space" spectrum, should now only be up to Ch 51. True, the FCC is also trying to subtract Ch 32 and beyond, I believe it is, from TV broadcasting. The 600 MHz band is in principle Ch 36-51, but the FCC is interested in a few more. Still, that's a separate discussion from "white spaces." Once these are subtracted from TV broadcasting, I don't think they qualify as white spaces either. The 800 MHz band was also taken away from TV years ago, for cellular telephone service (Ch 70-83), and that's not considered white spaces anymore either. In fact, this "super WiFi" is not all that super, compared with real WiFi. At least not in terms of bit rates. What I can't figure out is why there should be any controversy about its application? In rural areas, TV white space spectrum should be plentiful, and a long range but low bit rate wireless network might be okay. Low population density helps. In urban and suburban areas, TV white spaces are going to be really hard to come by. But at the same time, why be so insistent? It's not like the IEEE 802.22 range of 4.54 Mb/s to 22.69 Mbit/s (the high figure is the least robust) can serve any appreciable fraction of the urban/suburban population. And these are gross numbers, aggregated for all users on a given 6 MHz channel, not net values per user!! It makes good sense for small numbers of rural homes. Everything in its proper perspective. By the way, compare the most fragile channel capacity of this IEEE 802.22 with that of ATSC. Bert -------------------------------- http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1318854& 'Super WiFi' Comes to WVU Junko Yoshida 7/9/2013 06:00 PM EDT MADISON, Wis. - West Virginia University advanced the cause of offering expanded broadband access to underserved rural communities with the announcement Tuesday, July 9, that it became the first university in the United States to use low-frequency "white spaces" -- left empty by TV stations that have switched to digital broadcasting -- to provide wireless broadband coverage on the campus and nearby areas. The university rolled out the pilot program in partnership with the Advanced Internet Regions consortium (AIR.U), a group of more than 500 higher learning institutions and technology industry partners such as Google and Microsoft. The group's initial goal is "to plan and deploy several pilot networks in diverse university communities and create a roadmap for the rapid deployment of sustainable, next-generation wireless networks as White Space equipment becomes widely available in 2013," said the consortium in a statement last year. The initial phase of the network provides free public WiFi access for students and faculty on a 73-car tram system that transports some 15,000 riders daily, known as PRT, or Personal Rapid Transit. Improved wireless connectivity and broadband coverage, with the campus as a test site, "may well offer a solution for the many West Virginia communities where broadband access continues to be an issue," West Virginia University chief information officer John Campbell said in a statement. Pros and cons of "Super WiFi" The wireless broadband network offered at West Virginia University is called "Super WiFi" -- a term originally coined by the Federal Communications Commission with the intention of creating new longer-distance wireless Internet access in both metropolitan and rural areas. The terminology, however, is somewhat controversial, because Super WiFi isn't compatible with WiFi (which is trademarked). Unlike WiFi, which uses a 2.4 GHz radio frequency, Super WiFi uses lower-frequency white spaces between television channels. The result is that Super WiFi must use a different radio from conventional WiFi, and currently two different standards are being developed for the white-space spectrum: IEEE8021.11af and IEEE802.22. Critics also claim that there is nothing "super" about Super WiFi. Compared to the latest WiFi standard such as IEEE 802.11ac, designed to deliver throughput rates close to 1 Gigabit per second in a base configuration, Super WiFi is reportedly slow -- limited to a peak rate of 29 megabits per second. However, Super WiFi signals, at lower frequencies, are better at broaching thick walls and covering larger expanses. FCC spectrum auction In conjunction with the FCC's incentive spectrum auction proposal, launched in September 2012, the industry and the media have stirred both debate and confusions over the FCC's spectrum plan, how best to use the white spaces, and how Super WiFi might fit into the picture. Just to clarify, the FCC is talking of two types of spectrum, when it discusses unlicensed devices to operate in "white spaces." The agency sees the white spaces in the TV spectrum as an opportunity for "a new generation of products such as Super WiFi and wireless broadband services for communities, particularly in rural areas." First, there is the existing TV white space spectrum that has been fought over -- generally in the 700 MHz realm. This will remain available for unlicensed uses. Second, as part of the discussion on the planned new spectrum auction (scheduled in 2014) focused in the 600 MHz block, FCC is proposing that the new auction should, in theory, add additional open spectrum for unlicensed use. The FCC is specifically looking at freeing up channel 37 (608 to 614 MHz), and portions of the so-called "guard bands" between licensed spectrum chunks, that they would like to "add" to the existing white space rules. Such moves are said to minimize interference problems in the white space. The agency said: The FCC's proposals will enable a substantial amount of spectrum use by unlicensed devices. A significant portion of this spectrum will be available on a nationwide basis, which is important because there currently is little or no white space in the TV bands in parts of many major markets. In making these proposals, the FCC seeks to promote greater innovation in new products and services, including increased access for wireless broadband services across the country. Stakeholders vying for the coveted white space spectrum include licensed users (current cellular network operators) and unlicensed users (offering products based on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and others). Opponents to Super Wi-Fi argue that white space (and the additional open spectrum that becomes available as part of the spectrum auction) is best used to ease bandwidth problems. Advocates of Super Wi-Fi, meanwhile, believe the initiative promoted by AIR.U is the best way to connect underserved communities with wireless broadband access without having to pay a monthly cellphone bill. Bob Nichols, CEO of Declaration Networks Group (DNG), LLC and AIR.U co-founder, said in a statement, "Super Wi-Fi presents a lower-cost, scalable approachto deliver high capacity wireless networks." He explained that the company hopes to "lead the way for a new broadband alternative to provide sustainable models that can be replicated and extended to towns and cities nationwide." Technology contributors Helping to enable West Virginia University to become the Super Wi-Fi test site are: AIR.U co-founder Declaration Networks Group to manage network deployment; the West Virginia Network for Telecomputing to provide the fiber optic Internet backhaul for the network: and Adaptrum Inc., a San Jose-based start-up offering white space equipment designed to operate on vacant TV channels. Microsoft and Google both provided early support for AIR.U's overall effort to spur innovation to upgrade the broadband available to underserved campuses and their surrounding communities. West Virginia Univ. stated in its press release: Because the unique propagation characteristics of TV band spectrum enables networks to broadcast Wi-Fi connections over several miles and over hilly and forested terrain, the FCC describes unlicensed access to vacant TV channels as enabling 'Super Wi-Fi' services. For example, WVU can add additional Wi-Fi hotspots in other locations around campus where students congregate or lack connectivity today. Future applications include public Wi-Fi access on the PRT cars and machine-to-machine wireless data links supporting control functions of the PRT System. This initial deployment, blanketing the WVU campus with Wi-Fi connectivity, will test equipment capabilities, system throughput and the performance of TV band frequencies in supporting broadband Internet applications. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.